The municipality of Haarlemmermeer is in talks with several hoteliers and catering entrepreneurs about the reception of corona patients and the possibility to deploy catering staff in the care sector. Floris Licht of the Novotel group announces that his hotel beds are available and Jos Bolte, owner of Café De Polderboom in Hoofddorp, confirms that his staff can be used for the care of the patients.

Corona Hotels & staff
Novotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

“We currently have little occupancy, so as soon as there is a shortage of capacity in the hospitals, we would like to help,” confirms Floris Licht of the Novotel in Hoofddorp. Also during the first wave Licht offered to set up floors or parts of his hotel for corona patients, but so far no concrete requests have been received. “If they still need us on the second wave, of course we are still open to this.” We’ll get together soon and discuss how we’re going to set it up.”

The hotel sector is going through hard times

Corona Hotels & staff
De Rustende Jager, Nieuw-Vennep

Other hoteliers in Haarlemmermeer also confirm that they are open for an discussion. Marcel de Jong, owner of Rustende Jager in Nieuw-Vennep and Hotel De Beurs in Hoofddorp says he is also in to help the situation.

Earlier this week it was announced that the hotel industry in Haarlemmermeer is about to fall over: two hotels have already gone bankrupt and for the Vennepse entrepreneurs the prospects are not much more optimistic: “I am very upset actually”, he says. He holds his heart for the survival of the family business, which celebrates its 160th anniversary next year.

Licht offers his hotel rooms at a cost of 15 euros per night: “That’s how we get around. We do this to contribute to the whole situation, so we don’t want to get rich from it.” He explains that the Novotel has been sheltering people who do not have a safe environment at home since March. Refugees who fall between shore and ship can also come to us for months,” says Floris Licht of the Novotel in Hoofddorp.

We do this to do our bit to contribute to the whole situation, we don’t want to get rich from it.

Employing hospitality staff in healthcare

And it’s not just the hoteliers alderman Ruigrok is talking to. Hospitality entrepreneur Jos Bolte confirmed today that he is making his staff available to engage in care: “At the moment I still employ 52 people that I have to pay through, so I thought, ‘let me at least do something good for society’,” Bolte said. “I first employed 72 people, of which we had to let go more than 20. But until I have to say goodbye to the rest, I’d better put them somewhere where they are needed.”

Bolte told the news conference on the night of the press conference that the corona crisis has left him with his back against the wall for seven months. The forced closure of the catering industry was a slap in the face. When asked how to proceed, he responded: “We’re going to put our guests in the spotlight over the next few hours and come up with lots of new ideas.” One of those ideas could be training his staff for the care sector.

Can you help?

However, it remains to be seen whether the hotel beds and staff can be used functionally. A spokesman for the Spaarne Gasthuis says: “It is nice that many organisations want to help us. The number of beds is not the biggest problem at the moment. It’s the care staff, there’s a shortage of them. If there are people who have a background in care and want to help us then I would ask them to sign up to“.