Minister 'confident' anomalies in nightclub guidelines will be resolved within 24 hours

ireland
Minister 'Confident' Anomalies In Nightclub Guidelines Will Be Resolved Within 24 Hours
Ms Martin said she is closely engaging with the hospitality sector on reopening guidelines for October 22nd. Photo: Collins
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Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin has said she is “confident” the anomalies surrounding the reopening of nightclubs and live music venues will be resolved within the next 24 hours.

Ms Martin said she is closely engaging with the hospitality sector on reopening guidelines for October 22nd.

Government officials met with representatives of the hospitality sector on Wednesday afternoon to discuss anomalies that have arisen ahead of a further relaxation of restrictions from Friday, with a particular focus on problems with guidance for nightclubs.

Representatives from the Restaurants Association, Hotel Federation and the two Publican associations met with officials from the Department of Tourism, and the Department of Enterprise, at 3pm, according to The Irish Times.

'Solution'

Ms Martin, who was attending an event at the Epic Museum in Dublin, said: “My message to those who are engaged, to promoters, to venues, and to musicians, is to bear with us for another 24 hours. I am confident we will have a solution.”

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Ms Martin said the rising number of Covid cases had prompted changes to reopening guidelines following advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

“I am very aware of the needs of this industry, and I am solution-focused. With the Department officials we have been extensively engaging with the sector,” she said.

She said nightclubs will reopen without antigen testing and at 100 per cent capacity.

Ms Martin added that people would not have to wear masks when dancing or drinking.

“We are working on the guidelines on everything else with the sector. That engagement is happening with the night-time economy sector.”

Complications

Asked if she accepted responsibility for the anomalies over nightclub guidance, she replied that at “every twist and turn in this pandemic, especially every opening time, there seems to be complications”.

Speaking to BreakingNews.ie on Wednesday, Licensed Vintners Association chair Noel Anderson said that the Government announcement had led to “mass confusion” among publicans and nightclub owners.

He said: “There seems to be no joint thinking, for a nightclub to work you need to be able to have access to the bar counter because a nightclub generally doesn't have that much furniture. It won't be feasible for a lot of them to reopen and there's a kind of lunacy where a band in a nightclub wouldn't be allowed, but you could put on their track on a background system and people would be able to get up and dance to it.”

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