Belgium’s new support measures for closed businesses are very welcome, but the full opening of the hospitality industry will constitute the real revival of the sector, according to trade and services federation Comeos.
Comeos said it welcomes the reduction of VAT to 6% on food and beverages from May, which “is (finally) a clear support measure to keep costs under control after six months of closure,” according to the federation.
Additionally, it also describes the announced social security reduction for five employees per establishment during the summer months as “an important measure, as well as the exemption from annual holiday bonuses for the hospitality industry and the more flexible employment of students.”
However, the organisation is concerned about plans to open terraces, as not all terraces will be able to reopen in May due to insufficient profitability.
“It is crucial to let the hospitality sector be part of the solution by allowing organised activities,” said Dominique Michel, CEO of Comeos, who added that a closing time of 11:00 PM is “essential” for the reopening to be effective.
“Additionally, the full opening in June will be the real boost for the sector, despite the reduced capacity due to the strict security measures,” he said.
“The extension of the temporary unemployment for the hospitality industry after 30 June must therefore still be decided politically,” Michel added.
The Brussels Times