Flemish hospitality industry calls for support and a clear plan to address  forced closure during the COVID-19 crisis

It will be at least another six week before cafés, bars and restaurants in Belgium will be able to reopen. Since midnight on 13 March, bars, cafés, discotheques and restaurants have been closed as part of the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

The forced closure has hit the hospitality industry hard and the Flemish hospitality industry federation Horeca Vlaanderen is calling for a support system for those that have been forced to close their businesses and for a clear plan to address the issues that the forced closure has caused those active in the hospitality industry.

“Closure until 8 June will mean a certain loss of 3.9 billion euro compared with last year. This is 23% of annual turnover”, Horeca Vlaanderen’s Mathias De Caluwé told VRT News.

However, the industry is also looking forward to the situation after the shutdown. “Things will be very different for a time. A support package needs to be set in motion and a clear plan of action drawn up. Our sector has traditionally had big difficulties, but we have our history behind is and now we are writing our future together to ensure that in four year we will have a profitable industry”, Mr De Caluwé said. 

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