Gastronomy disappointed with announced opening steps

The catering industry is seriously disappointed by the decisions made by the federal government. The opening of the guest gardens at Easter is not enough. Many companies have no outdoor area or this is too small to be able to present the opening economically, said host spokesman Mario Pulker on Monday evening for the APA. He called for an increase in aid. The catering has been closed for 17 weeks, Pulker is now assuming that at least another six weeks will be added.

The opening of the pub gardens at the beginning of the Easter holidays on March 27 was “a drop in the ocean” and “a blow in the pit of the stomach”, Pulker described the situation. While the press conference with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) was still going on, many restaurateurs wrote him horrified news. There is an outcry through the industry, said Pulker.

“Left behind blind”

For indoor restaurants and hotels, the government named April as the target for further opening steps on Monday evening, but no specific date. Pulker said he could have lived with it if the government had brought an April 1st opening into play in renewed deliberations on March 15th. “But as it is, we will continue to be left blind,” complained the industry representative. There is also “zero perspective” for the hotel industry. The employees would therefore run away from both gastronomy and tourism.

Vienna now wants to examine “to what extent we can also provide public spaces for catering, including spaces that go beyond this and can be used by restaurateurs,” announced Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ). “It makes more sense, there are rules of the game that consumers can use as a guide than there is a proliferation of meetings that take place somewhere in a semi-public space.”

Mahrer: “Foot in the door”

The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Harald Mahrer, can see something positive about the opening of the guest gardens, as he said to the APA: “Now we have our foot in the door. The next step is to bring the guests to the bars, hotels and event halls. ”The top of the Chamber of Commerce also calls for a step-by-step plan for opening up all industries and points out that two thirds of all infections would take place in the private sector. “Illegal meetings and celebrations without tests and without security measures are a much greater risk than opening up on the basis of all the concepts that already worked in the summer and were continuously developed, refined and in many cases officially approved,” said WKÖ General Secretary Karlheinz Kopf in a broadcast .

Hotel industry association chairwoman Susanne Kraus-Winkler also spoke of “frustration and disappointment” in a statement on Monday. “With every further postponement, more and more companies, but also employees, lose confidence in a predictable, early opening. The longer one is delayed, the more difficult it will be to keep employees or to find them for the coming season. ”The industry has done its homework and has prepared preventive and hygiene measures. “Together with entry tests as well as distance and mask requirements, we could have offered our guests the greatest possible security.”

Seeber wants perspective

The chairman of the tourism and leisure sector in the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ), Robert Seeber, wants the government to “finally make a binding commitment to reopen it quickly and permanently”. For the announced test run in Vorarlberg, there is now an urgent need for prospects for all tourism businesses throughout Austria. “If we adhere to the necessary rules of the game, it can be opened and kept open safely,” believes Seeber. “It is necessary and long overdue that a specific date is finally set and that the support is improved and processed quickly and unbureaucratically by then. In the case of short-time work, tourism-specific adaptations are necessary as well as liquidity support for the restart process. “


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