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Gastro – Every restart is difficult

For the weekend, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hesse, Saxony and Thuringia, like neighboring Austria, which reopened the local doors after 59 days of corona shutdown, dropped the ban on entertainment. This means that the hospitality industry in ten federal states can try the new start (the rest should follow between May 18 and May 25) – with strict clearance and hygiene requirements, which are designed differently in the federal states.

A distance of 1.5 meters from the neighboring chair often applies. In Hesse, however, the authorities stipulate five square meters per guest in the restaurant. The reopening also becomes a calculation game for the operators, whether the step is worth it on the bottom line or the personnel costs ultimately exceed the meager sales due to fewer guests.

In this way, the hospitality industry mercilessly uncovers the downside of the “Tourismus light”. Because in the current situation, only “being allowed” is no guarantee of business survival. Even though the visiting association Dehoga expressly welcomes the opening prospects for restaurants and hotels, association head Guido Zöllick continues to insist on a rescue fund for quick financial aid.

The framework conditions are too fragile. In Vienna, where Chancellor Sebastian Kurz vigorously promotes tourism in the Alpine Republic, Petrus spoiled the gastronomic debut with rain, which shows how much the success of the restaurateurs now also depends on the weather. If they have to close the outside area, the limited number of guests is reduced, which further complicates the arithmetic game.

How the hotel industry is doing will only become clear. So far, only in Hamburg, Hesse, Saxony and Thuringia tourist overnight stays in hotels and holiday apartments are allowed again, in NRW, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg only in holiday apartments.

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