Catering establishments see outdoor seating as lifeline

Restaurants, cafes and bars in and around Raekoja plats in Tallinn
Restaurants, cafes and bars in and around Raekoja plats in Tallinn Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Ain Käpp, CEO of the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association, said cafes and restaurants' outdoor seating and terraces should be first to open as spring arrives which would allow people to sit in the fresh spring air.

Käpp told ERR the decision would be logical, as the coronavirus does not spread in the open air as much and it would also be a better solution than only allowing takeaway sales.

"I think that if the weather gets warmer, it would be a very reasonable solution before we can fully and open restaurants and cafes," Käpp said.

"If we maintain distance in accordance with the established restrictions and the customer goes to the restaurant, sits down, eats their pastry or salad, gets it through a service hatch or even if it is allowed on the terrace via a waiter. It could be a reasonable solution and many countries have done so after limiting the operation of restaurants, allowing people to be on the terraces. It would be very reasonable to go this way," Käpp added.

As of the latest set of restrictions intended to limit the spread of COVID-19, restaurants and cafes are set to be closed until at least April 11.

"We still hope that the infection numbers this week will already show the effectiveness of these restrictions and the next proposal from the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association would be to allow customers on terraces," Käpp added.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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