“It is an understatement to say that the conditions for reopening are a crucial question for many restaurant owners who were waiting to know these conditions to know whether they were able to open or not,” Maingain said, according to reports from Belga News Agency.
According to Maingain, who received the protocol for reopening of terraces on Thursday, the possibility of using plastic screens between tables if the 1.5 metre distance between tables cannot be respected on the terrace was mentioned, and he argued that this protocol must be adhered to, allowing a serene and profitable reopening for a maximum number of businesses.
“Now, this confusion within the government is once again causing trouble less than 24 hours before the opening, which is unacceptable,” Maingain said.
The mayor of Ghent, Mathias De Clerq, responded to the last-minute change to the protocol, saying this would not be immediately enforced in Ghent.
“Hospitality operators have prepared themselves in good conscience in accordance with those protocols. We are going to give them time to adjust. Our catering coaches will enter into a dialogue with the owners,” he said on Twitter.
Maingain also pointed at the unfairness of the partial reopening, which “leaves many establishments in disarray. Between those who cannot open because of the lack of a terrace and those for whom it is not profitable, the situation of Brussels’ hospitality establishments is difficult.”