'Contradictory position' to allow return of live music but prevent mingling - LVA

'Contradictory Position' To Allow Return Of Live Music But Prevent Mingling - Lva 'Contradictory Position' To Allow Return Of Live Music But Prevent Mingling - Lva
The LVA also called for Government supports to be extended into 2022.
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James Cox

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has claimed the Government’s decision to only permit live music with social distancing is “contradictory and will delay the recovery of that sector”.

The industry body warned that hospitality is one of the main platforms for live music and the sector will be “slow and reluctant” to commit to performers while the current restrictions remain in place.

The LVA also called for Government supports to be extended into 2022.

“Everyone associated with nightclubs and late bars will be extremely relieved to hear this positive news that they will be able to open their doors from October 22nd,” said Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the LVA. “For many of the 300 plus venues around the country and the 5,000 people working in those venues they will have been wondering if this day would ever come. Thankfully they finally have a date and that will now allow them to start organising for their reopening.


“It was also very positive to see that the restrictions on indoor hospitality will be eased from the 22nd October. This will mean we won’t have to restrict admission to only those with vaccine certificates, social distancing will no longer apply and bar counters will finally be back in use.

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“However we were surprised that the Government took the decision to permit live music but then limit it to seated audiences. This seems a little contradictory. The practical impact of that is many hospitality businesses will unfortunately be slow and reluctant to commit to performers when everyone is restricted to their tables. Given that hospitality provides a significant number of the platforms available to live entertainment this will undoubtedly delay the recovery of that sector.”

Mr O'Keeffe added: “Looking at the overall picture it should be noted that while there was progress in this announcement, the reality is that severe restrictions remain in place for all pubs for another seven weeks, while nightclubs and late bars will remain closed for that period. That will bring their total closure to 585 consecutive days. This is far from business as usual for our sector, and we expect that will be acknowledged in the form of extended supports being provided by the Government.”

Meanwhile, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has urged the Government to reconsider the exclusion of indoor hospitality from the 60 per cent capacity limit announced for other indoor events from September 6th.

IHF president Elaina Fitzgerald Kane said: “It is very disappointing to hear that indoor hospitality is excluded from the easing of restrictions for indoor events. We urge the Government to reconsider its position given the track record of hotels in providing safe and controlled environments for indoor hospitality. The numbers of guests permitted should be linked to the capacity of the venue for hospitality gatherings, including wedding, similar to other events. While welcome the broader easing of restrictions, the lack of clarity around indoor hospitality is very concerning.”

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