Saturday 03 December 2022

Wash your hands and no more than four at a table: new cafe rules

The Leidseplein in central Amsterdam. Photo:

Hospitality industry lobby group KHN has drawn up guidelines for cafes and restaurants to follow once they are allowed to partially reopen from June 1.

The guidelines, seen by broadcaster RTL Nieuws, are largely based on the government’s rules which were presented last week, but include extra hygiene measures.

For example, guests will have to wash their hands when they enter a cafe or restaurant and answer questions about their health. Staff can also refuse customers entry if they suspect they may have coronavirus symptoms.

Staff will then take orders while standing 1.5 metres away from customers who are either seated at a table or bar. RTL does not explain how customers will be given their drinks or food.

Guests will only be admitted if they have a reservation, and no more than four people can sit at a table, unless they are from the same household. The government has also said cafes and restaurants can have no more than 30 people on the premises, including staff.

Once customers have left, tables, chairs and menus must be thoroughly cleaned.

Police state

Hubert Bruls, chairman of the regional safety board authority, has told news website that he is confident people will keep to the terrace rules, based on his experience of the past eight weeks.

‘Most of the time people have behaved extremely well,’ he said. ‘It is quite logical that people are going out more, but they are doing it in a different way.’

Prime minister Mark Rutte said at last week’s press conference that there would be fines if the rules are broken but that details are still being worked out. ‘This is not a police state,’ the prime minister said.

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