Time for clarity and ambition from government on reopening of indoor hospitality
Ireland’s position as an outlier in the EU has been cemented by today’s decision. A definitive date to open up indoor hospitality, as well as a clear and ambitious plan from Government in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of this opening, is now urgently required.
This is according to Drinks Ireland, which said that the decision today, with no clear plan, has cemented Ireland’s position as an outlier in Europe with regards indoors hospitality. From July 2nd, when Greece opens indoor hospitality, the UK and all other EU countries will allow dining and drinking inside venues with measures in place.
In the context of a need for clarity, Drinks Ireland is highlighting again the huge logistical operation that has taken place in recent weeks to get pubs ready for the July 5th date. It takes five weeks to brew and deliver beer and an estimated 70,000 kegs of beer were produced.
It said that the recommendation of using Covid Certificates for vaccinated people, or people who have recovered from the infection, is a last minute moving of the goalposts and something that should have been planned for months ago, if necessary.
Drinks Ireland acknowledges the Health Ministers’ commitment to having this system up and running by the 19th of July and said that everything now needs to be done to get the necessary measures in place by then so the sector can reopen.
Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland said:
“We are disappointed by today’s announcement and the continued disruption to one of the worst-affected sectors in our economy. The default position to lock down or delay reopening of the hospitality sector, with very little notice, is no longer appropriate in the context of the vaccine roll-out and our position as a clear outlier in the EU. In the immediate term, we need an opening date from Government, that it sticks to, as well as clarity on the metrics to allow this to happen.
The hospitality sector, and wider drinks industry, has done its part by putting in place stringent Covid safety measures, with massive upgrades and investments.
To date, the sector has been told that ensuring a certain portion of population were vaccinated would be sufficient to open.
We need a long-term plan for the sector beyond keeping it shut and providing supports. Relying on proof of vaccination or recovery alone is unfair. Other countries have moved to living with Covid and have rolled out antigen testing and other measures like ventilation to allow their sector to open and these must be considered also.”
Media contact – Colin Taylor, Q4PR, 0864671748