Over 25% of checked hospitality businesses in violation of Covid rules

Over 25% of checked hospitality businesses in violation of Covid rules
Illustration image. Credit: Belga

More than a quarter of all bars and restaurants that were inspected during the fifth coronavirus wave (between 16 December and 8 February) received a €750 fine because they were in violation of the Covid measures in force.

While the measures for the hospitality sector will be relaxed as Belgium moves from 'code red' into 'code orange' on the barometer on Friday, the current rules are by no means always complied with, figures by the Federal Public Health Service show.

The main issues concerned the lack of CO2 meters (in 32% of the cases) or face masks (in 18% of the cases). Particularly the latter is a significant drop compared to previous inspection periods. The owners of businesses where these violations were established all received a €750 fine.

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On the other hand, nearly half of all inspected businesses were fully compliant with all measures: face masks, CO2 meters, sufficient ventilation and hand hygiene measures.

Code orange

Last Friday, the Consultative Committee decided that 'code orange' on the barometer will go into force from 18 February, which means a number of relaxations for bars and restaurants in particular.

The midnight closing time will be dropped, clients can leave their face masks at home, the number of customers allowed per table will no longer be limited to six and people can go order at the bar again.

Still, the FPS Public Health will continue to hold inspections: CO2 meters remain mandatory in code orange and staff must still wear a face mask. Checks in bars and restaurants will be somewhat less frequent, as the inspectors will focus more on nightlife.

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