All catering outlets in Marseille have been closed again since Monday. (Photo: DUPOUXFABIEN / SIPA / ISOPIX)
‘By following up infected patients, we know that a lot of infections do take place in bars or restaurants. And everyone knows that when it gets a little late and there is a drink, the relationships loosen up and it becomes more difficult to keep a distance. ‘
That said Inge Neven, head of the Brussels health inspection, Sunday in Het Journaal op Eén. From Monday catering establishments must close at 11 pm. In this way, Brussels wants to prevent the rapid spread of the virus. The local catering sector fears that 35 to 40 percent of Brussels’ drinking and dining outlets will not make it to the end of the year. With a loss of 1,200 to 1,600 jobs.
In the south of France, bars and restaurants simply have to close again. Since midnight and until at least October 11, all bars and eateries in the Aix -Marseille-Provence region will be closed again. The renewed closure was received furiously by the catering industry. A complaint from twenty catering bosses will be examined by a local court on Tuesday in an emergency session.
Bringing a lot of people together in closed, poorly ventilated spaces is a bad idea
The French government took the decision after consulting the scientists of the ARS (Agence Régionale de la Santé). The conclusion is always the same. Bringing together many people without a mask in small or poorly ventilated spaces is a dream combination for the further spread of the Sars-CoV-2 virus via aerosols. Aerosols are microdroplets that are distributed through the saliva. This does not only happen through coughing or sneezing, as was still assumed at the start of the epidemic.
It was the French government itself that caused confusion by categorizing the clusters as ‘public and private companies’. Only recently was this counting method adjusted and 20 percent of the total number of clusters was classified under the catering sector. A figure that is probably lower than reality, due to the difficulty of tracing cases where people do not necessarily know each other.
In Austria, the police checked no less than 7,733 cafés and restaurants last weekend, according to the local state channel ORF. 160 of them were not in line with the coronavirus restrictions. The violations often concerned non-observance of the closing time and insufficient social distance.
Those who recently ate in a restaurant test positive up to 2.4 times more often
More and more scientific studies point to the danger that cafes and restaurants pose to the spread of Covid-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC) released a report in July that found that people who tested positive for Covid-19 were up to 2.4 times more likely to eat in a restaurant than people who tested negative. American epidemiologist Anthony Fauci has argued before to keep bars and restaurants closed.
Japan: 13 percent of all sources of infection can be directly linked to the catering industry
Then there is a Japanese study from September. More than 13 percent of all sources of infection from Covid-19 are directly linked to cafés and restaurants. Also in Canada it recently came to light that in the state of Québec karaoke bars had manifested themselves as ‘super spreaders’.
Some cities such as New York and Vancouver therefore make it possible to eat in the open air all year round. In other cities, efforts are being made to stretch the summer season by installing patio heaters so that people can sit outside without interruption.
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