22 June 2021
From 1 July 2021, relaxation of Dutch ventilation rules for the hospitality industry.
The Alcohol Act will come into effect on 1 July 2021 to replace the Liquor and Catering Act. In practice, this means that the ventilation standard for catering establishments is up to five times lower. The old law stated that the air in a catering building had to be completely refreshed every ten minutes. As of 1 July, this will therefore be abolished and the catering industry must meet the requirements of the Building Decree: for existing catering buildings, this means that the air only needs to be refreshed about once an hour. The requirements for new catering buildings are slightly higher, but still far below the old standard.
The requirements in the Building Decree are mainly there to combat odor nuisance in the catering industry, but certainly not to guarantee a safe and healthy indoor climate. Especially now, at the time of the corona crisis, it is therefore incomprehensible that the caretaker cabinet has significantly reduced the requirements for ventilation in the catering industry. They came to this decision because the old rules date from the time when smoking was still allowed in the catering industry.
Because the catering companies were declared to be high-risk areas during the corona crisis, efforts should be made to tighten up the ventilation rules. Not only the prevention of odor nuisance should form the basis of good ventilation rules, but certainly also minimizing the risk of contamination by viruses.
Fortunately, we see that there are also catering entrepreneurs who are investing extra in better ventilation facilities, even in these times. For example, we see catering entrepreneurs who look at their Belgian colleagues: There it is mandatory in the catering industry to link CO2 detectors to the ventilation system.
This development shows once again that the rules of the Building Decree are the minimum requirements that a building must meet. Using common sense and where necessary doing more than the minimum required is always better!