Last weekend a woman worked at café ‘t Keteltje in Breda, waiting for the results of a corona test. She had no complaints, says manager Etiënne van Boxtel. On Monday, his employee was told that she had contracted the COVID-19 virus. On Tuesday, the catering entrepreneur decided not to open his business in the evening.
Known since Monday
“The person it concerns therefore has no complaints. She was tested, also because of a different job, ”says Van Boxtel. “I got the results from her on Monday. I was too busy with the case and with my family that I had not yet been able to consider closing the café immediately. ”
Only when he woke up on Tuesday morning did Van Boxtel realize what the consequences of keeping it open longer could have been. “I called for hours with all kinds of authorities, but even the GGD does not know what to do. I also had constant contact with my staff members, via WhatsApp. They struggle with the same uncertainties. One wants to be tested, the other wonders if this is necessary. A dilemma for all of us. “
Moreover, such a test has far-reaching consequences. For me personally, it may mean that I have to stay at home for a few days. Then I might as well close the tent immediately. ”
And Van Boxtel, like most of his colleagues in the catering industry, has already had a difficult time. He felt that the lockdown in his industry was coming even before the cabinet had made this decision. Subsequently, the pub owner used this period to rebuild his business. “But that turned out to be more expensive, which meant that plans for a new car also had to be postponed. Finally we were able to open last weekend. At that time I was less than twenty percent of normal turnover. In the meantime, we are required to follow all kinds of procedures. It does not get any more fun. Especially when you see that different rules apply in supermarkets and on airplanes. The Dutch government measures with two standards. “
What now? That is also what Van Boxtel wonders. He even plays with the idea of having his employees wear a face mask when his business opens again. “To send a signal,” says the café owner.
Johan de Vos, the chairman of the Breda department of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, is not surprised by the news from the city center. “You can expect this, you see increases in the number of infections everywhere. So they can also occur in the catering industry, but it should not be the case that people start to think that other companies will be spared this,” says De Vos.
He thinks it is no big deal that ‘t Keteltje only closed on Tuesday. “If someone has contracted the virus in a café, that does not mean that you have to lock everything immediately. It is commendable how my colleague has picked it up. It is now up to the GGD to conduct a source and contact investigation to find out who the employee was in contact with. She must now open all the registers. “