On Sunday evening Boris Johnson announced the first steps we’ll be taking to ease lockdown restrictions here in the UK.
See how it compares to the plans for the weeks and months ahead in those markets where we are most active – France, the Netherlands and Germany.
#1 The Netherlands
Lockdown laws will be relaxed from Tuesday (11th May), as part of a five-step plan. This will mainly affect libraries, schools and nurseries and physical distancing rules of 1.5m will apply.
From the 1st June, it will be possible for cafés, bars and terraces to reopen, as well as museums and cinemas but only for a maximum of 30 people at a time. And the limit of 30 people must take into account staff.
From the 1st July, cafés, restaurants, cinemas and museums will be allowed to open for up to 100 people and critically for our industry, it may be possible for organised gatherings of up to 100 people to take place.
The Dutch government has suggested that businesses such as saunas, casinos and also sporting events should be allowed to re-open from the 1st September.
The fifth step applies to large events of 100 people and above. For now, they have not given a date.
To address physical distancing recommendations of 1.5m, Apollo & Leonardo Hotels are currently redrafting their floorplans and capacities. They have already produced some images to show how their meeting spaces will look.
Finally, the Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam will soon launch a package for virtual meetings and we’ll share more about this once they are ready.
Germany has already begun to relax its own lockdown laws, and even if some differences of opinion are starting to emerge between the Federal and State governments, the process is now underway.
The good news for Germany’s hospitality sector is that bars and restaurants can begin a phased re-opening from the 22nd May. Strict new health and safety guidelines have been introduced that all businesses will have to adhere to, including hotels.
The Bundesliga will recommence on either the 15th or the 22nd May.
The decision on when hotels can open has been delegated to the state governments.
In terms of the events industry, the country is taking positive steps and has already now legally differentiated exhibitions from ‘mass gatherings’, meaning that exhibitions and trade shows can – at least in principle – now take place.
With regards Lindner Hotels & Resorts, the brand is taking various steps to reassure guests in their premises. They will introduce measures to facilitate social distancing including contactless service, they have created new meeting room floorplans and capacities and all staff will wear masks. You can read more here.
France has experienced one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns, and on Thursday Prime Minister Édouard Phillipe announced that it will be gradually relaxed as of tomorrow, Monday 11th May.
The timelines will vary from region to region, and the idea is for the country to emerge steadily and safely over the course of several weeks.
Most businesses will be able to reopen today, although this does not apply to cafés, bars, restaurants and hotels. Homeworking will be recommended, and wearing masks may become compulsory on public transport. Individuals will no longer need to carry attestations when they leave their homes.
Following the government’s guidance, hotels will reopen from the 1st June and in preparation Indevho Hotels are currently working on a range of new SOPs to ensure guest health and safety.