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How Is The Hospitality Sector Reopening Across The World?

How Is The Hospitality Sector Reopening Across The World?
19 May 2020 | Updated 20 May 2020

As the UK government begins to reveal its plans for gradually lifting our current lockdown, what are those countries further ahead of us doing to reopen?

In the past week, we have been encouraged back to work and experienced eased restrictions on outdoor activity. Social distancing rules have been reiterated, we’ve been asked to wear face coverings in certain circumstances, and we’ve been permitted to meet one other person from outside our household in a public place.

Subject to the rate of infection remaining low, and amongst other caveats, the UK government hopes to reopen “at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing.”

This is set to happen by July 2020 at the very earliest. If the hospitality industry is to look to re-open in late summer, or certain parts of it, what might this actually look like?


Stringent hygiene measures in restaurants


Restaurants have begun reopening across China, the country where the first reports of COVID-19 emerged. Following several months of strict lockdown, certain measures have become commonplace and perhaps give a sense of how post-lockdown UK restaurants may function.

According to reports by Barron, almost all restaurants in the southwestern city of Chengdu had reopened, but with sanitary restrictions such as tables removed to keep diners 2 metres apart, and protective face masks being worn when not eating or drinking.

Celebrity chef David Chang took to Twitter to ask his followers how eateries in Taipei, Hong Kong, South Korea, and China have made changes, urging them to share photographs. Temperature checks and table dividers appeared to be the norm of most of the responses.


Netherlands to wait for a vaccine?


According to The Netherlands’ Minister Of Public Health, there must first be a vaccine before any mass events are allowed, such as festivals and large concerts. The report in AT5 suggests that concert halls and theatres, however, will be allowed to take groups of 30 people from 1 June 2020. 

The Dutch government is also looking to reopen museums and heritage sites in June, and sports events may be held as of 1 September 2020, but without spectators.


Focus on advance booking and providing contact details


In Germany, a country that has seen fewer than 7,000 deaths in the coronavirus pandemic, there is currently a nationwide ban on clubs, theatres and cultural sites opening until 31 July 2020. Events with 5,000 people or more are banned until October 24th. 

In terms of hospitality, pubs remain closed but cafes, restaurants are kiosks reopened last week with strict physical distancing measures in place. According to The Guardian, people from two separate households could share a table, but had to keep a distance of 1.5m from each other.

Front of house staff are required to wear face masks, open buffets are banned and food has to be cooked in the kitchen on the premises. In order to enable any necessary tracing, customers are being asked to book in advance leaving contact details.

Picture: Photograph of some chefs working at a kitchen pass

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 19 May 2020


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