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Self-employed: Reopen on 1 May and not a day later

© Victor He at Unsplash

The union for the self-employed, SNI, has called for the date of May 1 to be retained for the reopening of the economy.

SNI was responding to a statement made yesterday by Pedro Facon, head of the coronavirus taskforce, when he called for the reopening of the care and restaurant sector to be delayed until mid-May so that the evolution of the epidemic could be studied in the meantime.

Agreements are agreements, and if the schools are allowed to reopen as agreed, then the catering industry – and other sectors – may too. The reopening of the catering industry is a complex logistical puzzle that cannot be completed in one day,” the employers’ organisation said.

The union has called on the government, and the Consultative Committee which meets on Wednesday, to abide by the date of May 1 ‘and not a day later’. The sector has now been closed for more than 200 days, in many cases after going to great expense to impose health-protection measures like perspex screens between tables.

It is not the case that one relaxation must rule out the other. For example, opening terraces safely should also be possible, as in Luxembourg. As a favour to make up for the great loss, not as an obligation, and with continued support. The self-employed person’s credit has run out. The anger and misunderstanding is great. If the Consultative Committee still abandons reopening on Wednesday, more financial support must be released uniformly.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times