Europe’s hospitality sector has been hit hard by the lockdown measures enforced across the continent to contain the spread of COVID-19.

In Belgium, pubs and restaurants were forced to shut down on 13 March. The Belgian government provided one-off payments and supported employees and freelancers during the three months of lockdown.

However, the post-confinement period finds pub owners, in particular, facing a number of critical challenges.

Still uncertain about when they will be able to work at full capacity, pub owners are calling for additional measures such as VAT reduction on alcoholic beverages.

EURACTIV spoke to a number of pub owners based in Brussels, who are now getting back to tough normality, considering that enhanced safety measures are in place and customers are still reluctant to return.

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