A set of rules agreed but no date set for the reopening of bars and restaurants

The Federal Government has approved a set of rules that must be followed by those in the hospitality industry once bars, cafés and restaurants are allowed to re-open. The rules included a mandatory closing time of midnight and the obligation to maintain 1.5 physical distance between tables. However, despite having agreed to the rules those in the hospitality industry will have to observe post-lockdown, no date has been set for the opening of bars, cafés and restaurants.   

In addition to the measures mentioned above there is bad news for those of us that like to prop up the bar at our local. Once bars are allowed to reopen customers will not be allowed to sit at the bar and all orders will be placed while sitting at a table. Menu cards will also be banished in bars, cafés and restaurants.

The Federal Economy Minister Nathalie Muylle (Flemish Christian democrat) told VRT News that reason for the decision to introduce a mandatory closing time is "The later it gets, the more difficult it becomes to uphold the rules on social distancing”.

"We have also taken into account restaurants that could organise working in two sittings

Those visiting restaurants will only be able to do so after having made a reservation. Those visiting bars and café will have to give their particulars to a member of staff so that they can be contacted if someone they were in the bar or café with is found to be infected with the novel coronavirus.

A date has yet to set for the reopening of bars, cafés and restaurants. The decision will be taken by the National Security Council that will meet again next Wednesday. The early date on which we might be able to go out or a pint, a coffee or a bite to eat is 8 June.

The guide for the reopening of the hospitality industry was drawn up by the industry federation, and representative of employers and employees in the hospitality industry. Now the guide has been given the government’s approval it will be distributed to the country’s bars, restaurants and café.          

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