Vorarlberg hosts very pleased with the opening of the restaurant

The opening steps in Vorarlberg gastronomy that took place a week ago are well received – both in the establishments and among the guests. “A bit of normality has returned,” the hosts say, although unlocking does not make economic sense for everyone. Full bars – in compliance with the regulations – illustrate the apparently great longing for a visit to an inn. Where the rules are not adhered to, there are appeals to the operators.

After only about 30 percent of the catering establishments had unlocked on March 15 – the first day of the reopening – there are currently significantly more. According to a background discussion with industry experts, three quarters of the inns in the metropolitan areas are now likely to be open, while in the valleys there are sometimes significantly fewer. Whereas previously only indoor operation was possible due to the cold and wet weather, visiting the outdoor dining area could also become an issue from the middle of the week when spring-like temperatures arrive – and thus another opportunity for restaurateurs is within reach.

One thing is clear: where the frequency is right, the turnover is usually also right. Numerous restaurants were fully booked at the weekend. Some guests insisted on dressing up for the first visit to the inn in months and consciously celebrating the experience. “I’m going to eat something very expensive today because I’m happy to be back here,” said a guest at an APA visit to a local restaurant in Bregenz. The fact that many Vorarlbergers insisted on paying a visit to the gastronomy are clearly illustrated by the test numbers of the state: Within one week – since the restaurant opened – 105,214 corona tests were registered in Vorarlberg with its 400,000 inhabitants. This corresponded to an increase of 67 percent compared to the previous week.

Smaller companies find it particularly difficult when it comes to maintaining the required two-meter distance between the tables. As a result, a lot of capacity is lost even in larger taverns. Other stumbling blocks are the exit restriction, which makes evening operation impossible, and the need for a corona test completed under supervision as an access permit. Mike Pansi, chairman of the Vorarlberg Gastronomy Group, never tires of calling for an end to the exit restrictions. “Our goal is to be able to take the next step around Easter,” he emphasized several times. The requirement that a negative living room test should be used as permission to visit a pub also remains in place.

The industry does not conceal the fact that not all of them adhere to the Corona rules. The Chamber of Commerce therefore sent another letter to all restaurateurs on Monday urging them to comply with the imposed restrictions. The industry does not want to fall into disrepute because of some black sheep, it said. In addition, one does not want to endanger the opening. The Vorarlberg police have not yet started a control offensive. On the day of the reopening, the APA was told that they would proceed “with a sense of proportion and common sense”. In terms of the number of infections, it is still too early to take stock after just one week. Only in the next few days will it be clear whether the opening is driving up the incidence significantly.

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