Open up outside areas and still compensate restaurants – if the Federal Council follows the majority of the cantons on Wednesday, landlords don’t have to wait too long.
Last Wednesday, the Federal Council announced its plan to exit the lockdown. The cantons had until Sunday evening to communicate their opinion to the Federal Council: The y want brisker opening steps, as these consultation responses now show.
The Conference of Health Directors (GDK) anonymized the responses from all cantonal governments summarized. According to the GDK, 14 cantons “fully or partially agree” with the Federal Council’s strategy. When it comes to gastronomy, however, the most controversial part of the concept, the majority demand a brisk approach. This applies in particular to the outside areas of the restaurants. As the GDK writes, a “narrow majority” of the cantons is in favor of opening the doors on March 1st. The Federal Council wanted to consider a corresponding step at the beginning of April at the earliest.
Interesting: The Bernese want, contrary to their reputation, to move faster than the Zurichers, for example. From government circles in Bern it was heard that the terraces and forecourts of restaurants should open on March 1st. The Zurich Government Council meanwhile belongs to the minority of those cantons that are behind the slower opening timetable of the Federal Council. While Basel-Stadt does not communicate its position for the time being, the Basel government the federal government to allow the outdoor areas of restaurants with service as early as the first opening step, i.e. from March 1st
The Federal Council is thus faced with the delicate question of whether it wants to comply with the statements of the cantonal majority on Wednesday – or whether it wants to stick to its plan for a more cautious opening. The latter is likely to be difficult for him because, in addition to the cantons, the business associations also want to set a faster pace when marching out of the Beizen lockdown.
According to various cantons, the settlement of the so-called terrace dispute speaks in favor of a quick opening of the stain forecourt. Some mountain and tourism cantons already allow terraces to be kept open, although the federal government officially forbids this. The GDK writes soberly about the currently smoldering conflict between the federal government and some of the cantons, “the problem of terrace catering in the ski areas» would with a relaxation per March 1st solved.
The outcome of the Federal Council meeting on Wednesday is still open. And yet, based on the statements of the cantonal governments as well as the trade and economy, the catering industry and guests can hope that the Federal Council will open the outdoor areas of the restaurants on March 1st instead of April 1st.
Meanwhile, the opinion among the cantons is inconsistent as to how quickly and according to which criteria further easing steps should be taken. A narrow majority of the cantonal governments are of the opinion that the Federal Council should not stubbornly stick to 4-week intervals. According to the GDK, the talk is of “more elastic time intervals”. A minority of the cantons even want opening steps every two weeks.
Total opening from April 1st?
The cantonal governments apparently have no illusions about the financial circumstances of many restaurants. The GDK writes to the Federal Council that it should clarify based on the demands of various cantons whether catering establishments that open their outdoor areas can continue to benefit from hardship measures. Is sei don’t assume that alone With Terraces profitable operation possible sNo. From the perspective of the cantons, the question of whether restaurants are still entitled to compensation even after they have been partially opened has not been conclusively clarified.
How many cantons are in favor of a general opening of restaurants from April 1st remains unclear due to the GDK announcement. According to her, a “majority of the cantons that in March only support the opening of the outdoor areas of restaurants” think that full opening must “be an option” by April at the latest. In addition, there are also cantons such as Aargau or Ticino, which want to keep the terraces closed in March, but are demanding a full opening of restaurants in April. The GDK does not go into this in its report.
Protection concepts should continue to apply
The cantons seem to agree on one point: the number of infections should be kept as low as possible across the country. Protection concepts such as those that apply today or that were already in use in restaurants before the lockdown are necessary. The aim is to prevent a yo-yo effect, i.e. the imposition of new restrictions after they have just been relaxed. A “nationwide coordinated procedure without cantonal differentiations” is necessary for this.