Social partners of the European Horeca sector recommend companies and employees to act responsibly, and call upon public authorities for support measures during and after the COVID-19 outbreak



HOTREC, the European umbrella association of Hotels, Restaurants and Cafés, and its trade union counterpart EFFAT, the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions, advise companies and employees to respect all health and safety measures. As the outbreak is having a sharp negative impact on the hospitality sector, HOTREC and EFFAT call on the European institutions and Member States to take all necessary measures, in consultation with the social partners, to support the sector.   

Member States and companies should act responsibly and follow official recommendations from WHO, and national officials to ensure health and safety of employees and guests in the travel and tourism industry”, commented Jens Zimmer Christensen, HOTREC President.

Companies should develop plans to be prepared for suspected COVID-19 cases in their premises. Companies should strive to find solutions to tackle any temporary impact on employment, with the aim to avoid redundancies of workers and job cuts, in close cooperation with workers and their representatives”, stated Kristjan Bragason, EFFAT General Secretary.

Wash hands regularly; use alcohol hand rub; cough and sneeze into your elbow; avoid handshakes and hugs; regularly clean surfaces which are touched often – these are some of the golden rules recommended by public authorities and social partners to limit the spread of the virus. It is also advised that workers remotely contact health care services and their employers (e.g. by telephone), if they suspect that they might be infected, and that they stay at home until the situation is cleared.

EFFAT and HOTREC call upon governments to provide support to companies and workers to tackle the impact on employment and businesses (e.g. tax relief; short- or medium-term liquidity loans; temporary short-time work), and urge upon the EU to facilitate national state aid deployment. Social partners will work together to find employment solutions.

For further information: and

PRESS CONTACT: Alessia Angiulli, HOTREC, +32 (0)2 504 78 45, [email protected]

Maddalena Colombi, EFFAT, +32 (0)

What is HOTREC?

​​HOTREC represents the hotel, restaurant and café industry at European level. The sector counts in total around 1.8 million businesses, being 99,5% small and medium-sized enterprises (91% are micro-enterprises, i.e. employing less than 10 people). These businesses make up some 60% of value-added. The industry provides some 10 million jobs in the EU alone. Together with the other tourism industries, the sector is the 3rd largest industry in Europe. HOTREC brings together 45 national associations representing the interest of this industry in 33 different European countries.

What is EFFAT?
EFFAt is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions, also representing domestic workers. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 25 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.

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