Economy & Politics

So that bars and restaurants close at 1 am

Representatives of the hotel and restaurant industry are asking the government to postpone the end-of-service schedule for their establishments by one hour. And this including in a health concern.

Patrick JACQUEMOT

Representatives of the hotel and restaurant industry are asking the government to postpone the end-of-service schedule for their establishments by one hour. And this including in a health concern.

Months go by, the covid law is extended but for cafetiers and restaurateurs the situation has hardly changed. They must always fold the tables and draw the curtain at midnight last deadline. The government demands it, and the police ensure it. But, in the fall, the professional federation would like to get a little extra: an extra hour of service.

And HORESCA, Monday, presented all the arguments it intends to submit to the authorities. With this leitmotif to convey to the Prime Minister and his team: “The arrival of autumn days with fairly low temperatures hardly allows us to welcome customers of cafes and restaurants on the terraces”. If we therefore want to avoid an economic risk to the sector, operating hours should be made more flexible “in order to guarantee indoor service with maximum security”.


Almost three and a half months after the reopening of bars and restaurants, the secretary general of the federation of hoteliers, restaurateurs and cafetiers reviews the government’s strategy and takes stock of the situation on the eve of the start of the school year.


For the representations of cafetiers and restaurateurs, the argument is simple: the longer the establishments remain open, the more space they will be able to welcome customers during the day. And therefore avoid either too large groupings (risking to transform into a cluster of the coronavirus), or to end up with empty tables a few hours after dark due to darkness, cold or precipitation. An idea that has its logic.

For Horesca, the measure would also have the advantage for certain restaurant chains, in particular of being able to offer two services. Something more difficult to organize by refusing any customer as soon as midnight approaches. And Alain Rix, president of HORECA, to move forward to the passage of health motivations: “Customers who can stay longer in an establishment would then be less encouraged to end the evening at home where the rules of physical distancing are often difficult to respect. “.

Last petition

Beyond the current evenings, the sector also intends to think about the highlight that always represents the night of New Year’s Eve. If the tolerance granted was pushed back to 1am, restaurants could organize New Year’s Eve parties. What, insists the profession, “provide an essential breath of fresh air” to a sector of activity that has not only suffered a massive drop in clientele but had to comply with strict organizational requirements.

Cafetiers-restaurateurs conclude their appeal to the government with this last plea: “given the rather stable figures of the pandemic in our country and by analyzing the places of contamination, we believe that an additional opening hour remains reasonable knowing that you have to live with the virus ”. Not sure, however, that the call will be followed. Already because the virus, which made a 126th victim this weekend, is still circulating in the Grand Duchy. And even if the Horeca recalls that we will have to learn “to live with the virus”, not sure that the government is not ready to open the possibility to New Year’s Eve parties where the New Year’s chime would signal the start of an outbreak of clusters. The ball is now in the politicians’ court.


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