Utrecht to determine the hospitality sector reopening

Mayor of Utrecht Sharon Dijksma and Mona Keijzer, who serves as the state secretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, were present at the opening event of five city centre cafes which opened their doors for the first time from October 2020.

It is a three-day experiment to help determine how the hospitality sector can be safely reopened after the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mayor of Utrecht Sharon Dijksma said: “The insights gained from this trial in Utrecht are important for the reopening of cafés throughout the Netherlands. That is an important ray of hope for all catering entrepreneurs and their guests”.

More than half a million people tried to secure a reservation for one of the 90-minute time slots, but only 3,000 were eventually given a chance to participate in the event. All visitors must provide a negative coronavirus test along with a confirmation of their booking.

During the research, the scientists will look at how staff and guests interact in a cafe setting, and how people move through the environment. The Fieldlab Cafes tests were organized by the City of Utrecht, two catering industry associations and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The experiment was scaled down from original plans in March after the daily number of coronavirus infections reported nationally rose by 60 percent. Photo Rod Long/Unsplash