Hospitality sector calls for Government to reconsider increased restrictions

ireland
Hospitality Sector Calls For Government To Reconsider Increased Restrictions Hospitality Sector Calls For Government To Reconsider Increased Restrictions
Increased restrictions for the hospitality sector are due to come in before the New Year.
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Digital Desk Staff

The Restaurants Association is seeking an urgent meeting with the Government over proposals to shut the hospitality sector after Christmas.

The Cabinet is due to meet on Tuesday to consider the move, after the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) advised restaurants and pubs serving food should be shut after Christmas.

The Government is expected to choose December 30th as the closure date, while at the same time restricting home visits to one other household.

However, travel between counties will likely be allowed to continue until January 6th.

Co-owner of the Cornerstore and Coqbull Restaurants in Cork, Mike Ryan, says the indecision is frustrating.

"It's like 'Are we going into Level 3+?' or 'Are restaurants going into a Level 5 lockdown, and we are just down to takeaway only?' or 'Are we outside with 15 people?'

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"This is the problem. Businesses have to be able to plan ahead - we can't plan. We are living day-by-day and that's no good for the mental health of ourselves or our staff."

Business group ISME has also expressed concern ahead of the new measures, saying it is time other measures were considered to suppress rising case numbers.

Chief executive Neil McDonnell says a pre-New Year lockdown is catastrophic news for hospitality businesses.

"We appreciate that given the direction of the infection numbers there's going to be Government reaction, but we are frustrated that lockdown appears to be the only solution that the Government continues to offer to Covid-19 numbers.

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"We have been asking since early November that the Government would consider a broader suite of measures along the lines of the recommendations by the WHO (World Health Organisation)."

One of the sectors within hospitality which has been hit the worst by lockdown measures has been wet pubs, with the Licenced Vintners' Association's chief executive Donal O'Keefe saying the impact is devastating for pubs around the country.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We are going into lockdown number three and we see no see hope for our future, no plan for the future of hospitality sector.

"We are calling on the Government to sit down with us to work out a plan for the reopening of pubs on a sustainable footing."

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