As of today, Monday 28 September, all Brussels cafés are obliged to close at 23 pm instead of 1 hour.
This measure is taken after Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès (MR) said on Saturday morning that Brussels'very quickly'had to take measures.
Many cafes are indignant. They testify that this is the death stab will be:
'Closing two hours earlier doesn't change anything. Or nothing about the spread of the virus: for us it is a financial disaster! ', It sounds.
'15 percent of hospital beds in intensive care units are provided for covid patients. Those beds are currently occupied. A choice must now be made between covid and other patients to fill the rest of the emergency beds, 'says the head of the Brussels health inspectorate Inge Neven.
Moreover, the Security Council said on Wednesday that 'all brakes can be released again', while in Brussels completely CANNOT is the message we want to give to the population! '
'The situation is very serious. We see that the number of infections in the over-65s is increasing. '
Consequently imposed that all cafes from today on 23 hours.
The bar owners do not understand the measure and respond angry:
'Closing two hours earlier, that is changing nothing. Or maybe nothing about the spread of the virus: for us it is a financial disaster !! ', says Charlotte Leprêtre of café Zebra at the Halles Saint-Géry.
'After 23 pm we generate a large part of the income for the evening, which is now completely away. '
The manager of café Roskam, van Schaik, also responds:
'By closing the cafes early, people will have a drink at home more quickly. You have no insight into that, while here the tables are far apart, we wear face masks, we disinfect our hands, the tables, the chairs… That doesn't happen at home. The cafes are punished, but it doesn't solve anything in terms of corona. '
The measure is next three weeks in effect.
People who 'test positive' are almost always infected by someone they know well and with whom they have close contact: infections mainly occur in the personal sphere. But what is the personal sphere? '
'It is difficult to control what happens indoors. Outside you will end up at bars and restaurants. So there we have measures affected. ', the health inspection clarifies the decision.
Charlotte Leprêtre from café Zebra testifies:
'U.S staff will be able to work much fewer hours: we will have at least two people on a temporary basis unemployment must put. On a team of twelve people that is huge. '
Karen van Schaik works in café Roskam on the Vlaamsesteenweg and sees the future just as bleak:
'You have to remember that we were already during the lockdown two months close and therefore have had no income. Then we opened up again, but with so many fewer customers and with so many extra measures. We have been losing for months! '
'The hours between eleven and one are precisely the hours in which we still generate the most turnover, and it is not much. If that is also taken now, then really very little will be left. This is the death knell for the small cafes, 'says catering entrepreneur Schaik.