‘Communication chaos’ over Covid-19 restrictions criticised by businesses

ireland
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Digital Desk staff

The Government’s communication of new restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 around the country has been criticised as “communications chaos” by affected hoteliers.

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) said that the uncertainty surrounding the introduction of new restrictions is causing “untold harm” to businesses, with further restrictions set to have a “devastating” impact on the sector with occupancies “already at rock bottom”.

The group has said that the introduction of Level Three restrictions would make it impossible for many hotels to stay open without a substantial and immediate increase in Government supports.

“The communications chaos we witnessed today is doing untold harm to our economy. There are fundamental issues around the Government’s response to Covid-19 and the impact of the crisis on wider society and the economy,” Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President of the IHF said.

“Engagement with sectors such as tourism and hospitality has been severely lacking, resulting in an enormous level of unnecessary confusion and uncertainty. This is jeopardising essential parts of the economy and the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country.”

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Ms Fitzgerald Kane called for enhanced collaboration between Government and business groups, saying that huge job losses would otherwise be seen in the tourism sector.

“It is absolutely essential that the Government change course and collaborate more with business and society groups so that we can get through this crisis while operating within the ‘Living with Covid’ framework,” she said.

“We want to be part of creating a solution for this and we are calling on the Government to immediately put in place structures for engagement with society, business and healthcare. We see a tsunami of job losses in the immediate future if the Government does not change course.”

Ms Fitzgerald Kane said the IHF hoped to see supports in next week’s budget include “additional measures around employment supports, local authority rates waivers, reduced tourism VAT and grants to help businesses survive until the industry can start up again.”

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