Bars, cafes and restaurants in 50 towns and cities nationwide are planning to open their doors again on January 17, with or without government permission.
The Breda chapter of hospitality industry body Koninklijke Horeca Nederland on Wednesday published a press release claiming thousands of bars and cafes will reopen, although the national body KHN has not officially responded.
‘The financial necessity, the lack of future perspective and inconsistent government policy leave us no choice,’ the press release is quoted as saying by the Telegraaf. ‘We are going to open on January 17 under the strict KHN protocols and we are going to stay open.’
Cafes and bars have been shut for the past six weeks, when the government introduced a new partial lockdown and many are now facing bankruptcy, the organisation says.
Bar and cafe owners are particularly angry at the way health minister Hugo de Jonge said that the lockdown will last longer than mid January. ‘The careless way this was shared, and the lack of empathy for the entire hospitality industry has forced these 50 KHN branches to join forces and support this action,’ the statement said.
Without action, 50% of cafes and bars will go bust, the organisation said.
Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht cafes are not supporting the breakaway campaign.
De Jonge said on Wednesday afternoon he had sympathy for the industry but that without a real decline in new infections, there is little he can do. The cabinet is due to decide on December 8 whether limited opening hours may be possible over the Christmas break.
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