'Open to all': Brussels hospitality sector rejects rapid tests for entry

'Open to all': Brussels hospitality sector rejects rapid tests for entry
Credit: Belga

Several organisations representing the hotel and catering industries both in Brussels and in Wallonia have opposed the introduction of fast tests and vaccination certificates as requirements for people to enter their businesses.

During the previous Consultative Committee, it was announced the sector could reopen on 1 May, however, the industries in both regions are against the protocols being considered for a safe reopening by the industry, they announced after a meeting on Wednesday.

"This crisis must not under any circumstances change our most important and necessary mission of welcoming. Our doors must remain open to all, without discrimination, for health or other reasons," the federations said.

The requirements for re-opening are currently being discussed by the crisis expert group GEMS, and further meetings will take place between the sector and the authorities in the coming weeks, according to Fabian Hermans of Fédération Horeca Bruxelles.

The HoReCa Wallonia Federation said in a press release that it had taken note of the declarations published in the press concerning the use of rapid tests as, for example, in Germany.

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“We are categorically saying no to the introduction of rapid tests to be able to visit our establishments,” the statement read.

The organisations who have rejected these ideas include the Collectifs Wallons Horeca, Collectif Resto Bar Bruxellois, Fédération Horeca Wallonie, the provincial catering federations, Fédération Horeca Bruxelles, Fedcaf and other local and regional associations.

“The situation has impoverished and starved us, but we will never submit to control authorities. We do not want to, nor do we have the means to. Under no circumstances will we cooperate in this kind of procedure, which affects us practically and especially ethically."

The organisations also said that the Flemish government is taking better care of the hotel and catering industry, warning that “f they are not heard, individual or group actions are not ruled out.”

Lauren Walker

The Brussels Times

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