Sectors

‘Catering industry part of solution to fight coronavirus’

Since the beginning of June 2020, catering entrepreneurs with all strict restrictions receive their guests in a safe and responsible manner. ‘We also see that in the RIVM figures; the number of infections that can be traced back to the catering industry is very small. That is why KHN, MKB-Nederland and VNO-NCW are calling on the cabinet to take the hospitality industry seriously and come up with an alternative plan with smart measures to use the hospitality industry as a ‘safe haven’ in the fight against the corona virus’, said the KHN.

The catering industry is safe
Hospitality entrepreneurs and their employees now follow strict protocols, including strict hygiene measures, and do everything they can on a daily basis to offer their guests a safe and hospitable experience. And with result: figures from the RIVM show that only 2.9 percent of all infected people can be traced back to the catering industry. Most of the infections still take place in the private sphere, KHN notes.

According to the three organizations, it is a pity that the cabinet apparently only sees two buttons to turn to get the virus under control: closing times and group size. ‘While it can be so much smarter. KHN does not understand that stricter measures for the catering industry have been introduced again, without taking into account the type of business and the special measures that entrepreneurs are taking. After all, there is little or no intervention in other places where people can gather. Moreover, last weekend we saw the consequences of the extra measures: long queues for supermarkets and night shops to buy drinks and to consume them at home or in the park. The problem is once again shifting to the greatest source of contamination – the private sphere – while the catering industry, with all the strict protocols, can offer a safe alternative to house parties and (illegal) gatherings. ‘

Catering is part of the solution
KHN chairman Robèr Willemsen adds: ‘As a living room of society, the catering industry has an important social function. Especially in uncertain times like these, people need social contact. And given the current figures and the needs in society, the hospitality industry can be part of the solution. Thanks to strict protocols, people can still come together safely in the hospitality industry. ‘

KHN, MKB-Nederland and VNO-NCW are therefore working together on an alternative plan with smart measures. This takes into account the fact that the risk of contamination must be manageable and acceptable, but that at the same time there must be opportunities for operating the catering business.

Smart measures
With smart measures, the catering industry can be used as “safe haven“In the fight against the coronavirus. What do these smart measures look like according to the three parties:

* Get rid of all kinds of unworkable segmentations, but look at functions / activities per type of company, for example “food / drink”, “meeting”, “sleeping”, etc.
* Have the entrepreneur enter the specifications of his functions / activities per business activity in a corona measures tool.
* Think of ‘hard specs’ such as the number of m2, the region and ventilation, but also variables such as the use of mouth masks for staff and guests, cough screens or ventilation with a larger air-freshening capacity.’

Entering these specifications per activity then leads to an “activity-related corona measures package” for an individual company. The entrepreneurs enter their data, the tool provides the result to which measures apply. The measures must then also “breathe” with the current situation in the country, for example by using a traffic light system. More is possible with green than with orange or red, for example. These colors can, for example, be linked to the development of the corona dashboard that the cabinet is working on.

Call to the cabinet: Look at what is possible
KHN, MKB-Nederland and VNO-NCW are convinced that this targeted approach makes an important contribution to the fight against the corona virus. At the same time, this plan ensures that the economic consequences remain limited and that we will soon also have room for reconstruction. The contours of this plan are currently being further elaborated. The three parties are making an urgent appeal to the cabinet: ‘Take the catering industry seriously, look at what is possible, instead of holding on to the far-reaching restrictions for a sector that can actually form an important alternative to the private sphere – where now? most infections take place. ‘

The Cabinet’s presco on new measures will take place this evening.
(PvWK, Photo: Pexels)

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