Belgian restaurants that offer takeaway food during the weeks of compulsory closure will not be allowed to sell alcohol to take away, according to the ministerial decree on anti-Covid measures published in the Moniteur Belge on Sunday.
Horeca Vlaanderen believes that the decision creates unfair competition with the supermarkets, which are still allowed to do so.
Under the current measures, which came into effect on Monday, bars and restaurants across the country will have to close. Getting takeaway, however, remains possible until 10:00 PM.
Additionally, the sale of alcohol will be banned after 8:00 PM, and a curfew will be installed, prohibiting people from leaving their homes for non-essential reasons between midnight and 5:00 AM.
“We have sent a list of questions to the FPS Home Affairs about this decree, including this passage,” Kaatje Lucas, spokesperson of Horeca Vlaanderen said on Tuesday. While waiting for the answers, the federation advises its members to follow the law.
The three Horeca (hotel, restaurant & cafe) federations (Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders) have each called on the federal government to provide them with the complete dossier scientifically justifying the closure of the Horeca establishments announced on Friday.
Currently, the hospitality industry has been ordered to close for four weeks, though the measure will be reviewed after two.
“This is just a pitch black Friday for 61,000 hospitality entrepreneurs, their families and the 140,000 people who work in the industry,” said Matthias De Caluwé, director of industry organisation Horeca Vlaanderen said after the initial announcement. “It is going to take a long time to get over this.”
Even before the latest measures were taken, the industry was forecasting a total loss of €7 billion for the year, he said.
“If you make such a disproportionate decision, we hope there is at least evidence behind it, and if so then the only correct answer from these governments is support measures.”
The Brussels Times