A beer in the pub or a meal in the restaurant: after weeks of forced break, this is soon possible again in many federal states.
Distance rules and hygiene regulations apply. Following discussions with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), other countries announced concrete dates for the opening of the gastronomy.
At the conference, it was agreed that the countries should decide on a gradual opening of gastronomy , against the background of the respective infectious events as well as country-specific peculiarities.
This also applies to hotels, guesthouses and holiday apartments as well as to the gradual opening in other areas – such as bars, clubs and discos, fairs, driving schools, beauty studios – as well as swimming pools and gyms. The basis should be common hygiene and distance concepts of the Conferences of Ministers of Experts.
On Tuesday evening, the ministers of the Länder recommended that there be a nationwide controlled opening of the hospitality industry in a corridor from 9 to 22 May, subject to conditions. For hotels and guesthouses, an opening until the end of May was recommended. The prerequisite is strict compliance with hygiene regulations, distance rules and the presentation of a plan to protect employees. The hospitality and tourism sectors are among the sectors most affected by the Corona crisis.
Pubs and restaurants had been closed in mid-March to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. This excluded only the delivery and collection of food for consumption at home. Hotels and guesthouses were also not allowed to provide accommodation for tourist purposes.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern had already announced that the restaurant would reopen next Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., subject to health protection regulations and restrictions on the number of guests. In Lower Saxony, restaurants, restaurants, cafés or beer gardens will also be able to reopen under conditions from 11 May. After weeks of forced break, Bavaria had already mentioned dates: outdoor restaurants are allowed to open on 18 May, indoor diners on 25 May, hotels on 30 May.
After the conference, other countries followed up. In North Rhine-Westphalia, restaurants will be allowed to reopen from 11 May. The permit will apply to both the interior and exterior, announced Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU). Hotels will also be allowed to reopen to tourists from 21 May. Prerequisites are compliance with the safety distance as well as a hygiene and infection protection concept.
In Berlin, restaurants and restaurants can reopen on 15 May with conditions and hotels on 25 May. According to information from the German Press Agency, the Senate agreed on this. Brandenburg is expected to allow restaurants to visit again from mid-May, and in Hesse they will also be allowed to reopen in May. In Saxony, accommodation establishments such as hotels and holiday apartments are to reopen from 15 May. Saxony-Anhalt wants to follow suit seven days later and then open restaurants and cafés at the same time.
The hotel and restaurant association Dehoga welcomed the easing for the industry. After about eight weeks of forced closure at high fixed costs, the situation of many companies is dramatic, said Dehoga President Guido Zöllick. “It is therefore right and proper that the prime ministers should act now in a balance between responsibility for the health of the people of this country, but also in the responsibility for the economy.”
According to Zöllick, it is necessary to comply with the distance requirements and even stricter hygiene regulations. All this entails additional costs for the companies. He also assumes that only 30 to 50 percent of the previous year’s turnover can be achieved due to the distance rules.
To help the industry, restaurants and cafes are expected to pay temporarily less tax. The Federal Cabinet decided that VAT on food for one year would be reduced from 19 to 7 percent. “We will give restaurants and restaurants a strong boost when they reopen,” said Parliamentary Finance Secretary Sarah Ryglewski. The Bundestag and the Bundesrat have yet to approve the aid. The scheme is to apply for one year from 1 July. It only concerns food, not drinks.