Since November 1, Mikaela and Dimitri, managers of the Greek restaurant “Au Cœur Bleu” in Linkebeek, have been living through complicated weeks.
The extended application of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) throughout Belgium has, according to them, significantly reduced attendance at their establishment.
This health pass, to be downloaded via the Covid Safe application, certifies as a reminder of a complete vaccination (for at least two weeks), a negative PCR test of less than 48 hours or a negative antigen test carried out in the 24 hours, or a recovery from Covid-19 for a maximum of 180 days. Without this QR code, it is no longer possible to frequent horeca establishments.
This “sesame” to be drawn in order to eat in restaurants, therefore, had a “totally unexpected” impact for Mikaela and Dimitri.
The effect was immediate
The couple experienced an emotional lift. “We observed an increase in attendance in our establishment when the health pass was in force in Brussels (since October 15) and not in Flanders. Now we need one everywhere. It’s a disaster,” says Mikaela.
In the space of three weeks, the observation for them is brutal. “Since the health pass, it is not full in the neighborhood. We have directly seen a decrease in the number of customers with the introduction of this Covid Safe Ticket. The effect was immediate. We refuse. people, clients that we know. We cannot accept them for fear of being fined. “
As a reminder, a fine of 50 to 2,500 € is foreseen for the organizers who do not control. For visitors, the penalty is between 50 to 500 €.
Hardly any calls on a Friday
“The other restaurants in the neighborhood are experiencing the same situation. We are not the only ones to have such a significant decrease in clientele”, continues the manager. “Today, this Friday, November 19, we have hardly any calls. It’s been 3 weeks that it lasts. We have a restaurant with 50 seats. We have 25 people on Friday, 25 on Saturday and sometimes on same number on Sunday. Weekdays, only 2-3 tables. “
Worn out by a lasting health crisis as well as by the various measures to be respected, Mikaela shares her concerns about the future of her restaurant, which has been in existence since 2013.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have gone through take-out meals. It went well thanks to the enormous support of our customers. Then the reopening, a little difficult with the Plexiglas, it was not funny, but we has adapted “, she says. “We then took them out with social distancing. It was still okay but it wasn’t the world we had known before. We weren’t full but our customers were and felt safe.”
“And now it’s a disaster. I would have preferred that we keep the social distancing and the plexiglass in which we have invested. I do not understand the logic of the various measures.”
Compared to October, Mikaela already estimates a loss of more than 50% of its turnover for the month of November.
We live in unstable times
Linkebeek resident wonders how long she will also be able to give work to her students
. “In October we brought them back to our team, but if this continues we will have to part with them, we are living in unstable times.”
“Our restaurant is our source of income but also a source of happiness. Our greatest pleasure has always been the smile and the satisfaction of our customers. We have been living in frustration for months because of the events”,she concludes.
THE LATESTEras MEASURES
1. SAFETY DISTANCE AND LIMITATION OF SOCIAL CONTACTS
The authorities are not going to re-establish the principle of the social bubble but strongly recommend that everyone limit social contact.
2. WEARING THE EXTENDED MASK
The consultation committee decided to generalize the wearing of the mask (in closed spaces, in establishments and horeca places, within the framework of events, both indoors and outdoors and whatever the size of the event. , in stores and shopping centers, in spaces accessible to the public of companies, public administrations, in places of worship, etc.)
Wearing a mask is now compulsory from the age of 10 and not 12. In Wallonia and Brussels, wearing a mask will not be compulsory for primary school pupils.
The mask can only be removed occasionally for sitting eating and drinking, and when wearing the mask is not possible due to the nature of the activity, such as during sporting activities.
3. COVID SAFE TICKET
The Concertation Committee decided that in places or during events where the Covid Safe Ticket was applicable, the wearing of a mask was also compulsory. The Covid Safe Ticket and the wearing of a mask are therefore required. (in catering establishments, during events where the presence of 50 people indoors is observed and from 100 people outdoors, in theaters, concert halls, etc.)
Nightclubs and dance halls that do not want to impose the wearing of masks are obliged to ask their customers to present the Covid Safe Ticket and to perform a self-test on site. So Covid Safe Ticket + self-test.
4. COMPULSORY TELEWORKING
Teleworking will be imposed four days a week until December 12, then we will move to three mandatory days per week.
“Vaccination of 5-11 year olds should be started as soon as possible“, indicates the Consultative Committee. In addition, all fully vaccinated people will soon have the possibility of receiving a complementary booster dose.
In order to properly monitor the air quality in schools and businesses, the Consultative Committee asks the regional ministers of Education and Labor to ensure that CO2 meters are installed quickly and generally in all school and business premises where large numbers of people congregate.
The measures will come into force on November 20, 2021 and will be applicable until January 28, 2022. The Consultation Committee will meet at the beginning of January to assess the measures.