Opening hospitality ‘lowers Covid cases’, claims Dutch report

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Open: new report claims hospitality safer than claimed
Open: new report claims hospitality safer than claimed

Related tags: Coronavirus, Legislation

An analysis of coronavirus infection rates given to the Dutch Government and then leaked to the press has claimed opening hospitality venues will decrease and not increase coronavirus infection rates.

According to reports on Dutch news website RTL Nieuws​a document leaked to the news outlet from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate showed local R rates dropped when hospitality businesses were open and increased on their closure.

“The analysis states that several measures were taken on 14 October,” a translation of the news report reads, which continues: “The reproduction number (the r-value, the average number of people infected by someone with corona) was 1.08. After those measures, the r-value dropped to 0.82. But on November 13, the r-value appears to have risen to 1.04.”

A conclusion in the report suggested there was no correlation between an increase in coronavirus cases and the hospitality sector being open.

Hospitality cases very small

“The influence of the catering industry on the r-number is very small and that the decrease and increase [in infections] since 14 October must be explained differently,” wrote RTL Nieuws​.

The report also went on to state that home visits between families and friends was a significant cause of infection rate increases, with some 20% of infections believed to come from homes.

Stats showed that during the Dutch general closure from 6 to 13 November 130 infections came from the catering industry, with 27% specific to restaurants.

However, in the same week 1,046 people had been infected after visiting family or friends in their homes.

More home visits

As a result, closing the hospitality sector had led to more people visiting in each other’s homes and therefore coronavirus infection rates cannot be linked to one sector, but to “unsafe contact moments”.

The report also said that reopening the hospitality sector for the Christmas period was likely to be safe, adding: “Reopening the controlled environment of the eateries and restaurants will significantly limit unsafe home visits.

“By means of strict conditions and protocols, reopening eateries will not have a negative effect on the r-value.

“The above argumentation even shows that it is conceivable that the r-value will decrease.”

Related topics: Legislation

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