Branch organizations INretail and Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN) react disgruntled on Saturday to the lack of perspective for a reopening of shops, restaurants and cafés. They do this in response to statements by outgoing Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) The Telegraph about the possible re-admission of the public at events and sports competitions.
The cabinet expects that from April it will be possible to “issue a test certificate to several hundred thousand people every day”. It is obvious that these corona test certificates will initially be used to give people access to the cultural sector and events again, De Jonge told the newspaper.
When asked whether the catering industry could start with experiments at least at the beginning of March, as is happening now in theaters, the minister replied reluctantly. “No decision has been taken on that yet, it seems to me to be early. Better careful and in small steps, then regret afterwards and back to square one.”
He cannot name anything concrete for the retail trade either. INretail is not happy with the words of De Jonge. The lockdown is taking retailers far too long, a spokesperson emphasizes. He points to the enormous damage that entrepreneurs are incurring as a result of the forced closure. According to him, there are already people who were forced by the situation to sell their house or car. “The stores should just open at the beginning of March. And that is also possible. We have already proven for months that stores can be open as usual.”
‘At least do something’
VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland are also of the opinion that closed sectors should be able to open at least partially again. A plan for this has been submitted to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, the parties announced on Saturday. “We cannot wait any longer, entrepreneurs are going to break down. If full reopening is really not possible, then in any case do this”, according to VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland.
The attitude of the minister is also against the sore leg of KHN chairman Robèr Willemsen. “We recently offered an alternative roadmap to safely reopen the hospitality industry, but we haven’t even had a real answer to that yet,” he says.
KHN is currently considering what is the most sensible thing to do for the industry. Willemsen does not rule out legal action either, although he does not want to anticipate this yet. “We look at everything, such as publicity campaigns.”