décembre 4, 2021

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More talks about hospitality reopening today as liquor criticizes ‘chaotic situation’

Updated 3 hours ago

Conversations must meet again today on hospitality guidelines for nightclubs, bars, live events and restaurants.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin told a party meeting last night that guidance due to be issued today for places to reopen on Friday would be feasible and would apply that common sense.

It comes after days of confusion in the hospitality sector over what measures will be taken after Tuesday’s announcement of further easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Donal O’Keefe, CEO of the Licensed Ventures Association (LVA), described the situation as « chaotic ».

« It’s a ridiculous situation, a chaotic situation, where we don’t have guidelines for their operations before we open, » he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

A core tenet of the government’s strategy is to ensure that Covid-19 digital certificates are thoroughly vetted at venues across the country with details about capacity and seats at live events yet to be settled.

Speaking on Virgin Media’s Tonight Show on Wednesday, Additional and Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said the onus would be on hospitality companies to verify documents.

“This is your way of being open and staying open,” Harris said. « If you want to open, if you want to stay open, if you want customers to come in the door and the money goes in until you have to play ball. »

Harris said the government will step up law enforcement to ensure companies verify documents over the coming days.

Medical Director Dr. Tony Holohan said this morning that he prefers places that verify people’s digital Covid-19 certificates in addition to their identities.

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Dr Holohan cautioned that nightclubs and bars are very dangerous environments, and said the reopening of nightclubs provides an opportunity for more socializing.

“The message we have is…Now that the community is open, anything you wish to do will be possible.

“It’s really important to be mindful of your own personal behavior, and how that protects you as an individual from catching this infection, especially if you are someone who has not been vaccinated.

“Then also be aware… that your behavior will put others at risk. So if you have symptoms, you shouldn’t go to a nightclub, you shouldn’t go to it, you should stay home, you should get a PCR test” .

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Restaurant Association Ireland, Adrian Cummins, said the number of people allowed to sit at a table somewhere would rise from six to ten.

Multiple bookings will be allowed, and normal trading hours will resume.

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Government sources have indicated that socially-distancing queues at bar counters will likely be allowed under the new guidelines with table service remaining in place.

Health officials last night confirmed 2,148 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

The National Public Health Emergencies Team (NPHET) also confirmed 63 more deaths reported in the past week, bringing the total number of Covid-19-related deaths in Ireland to 5,369.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, 464 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized, of whom 86 are in the intensive care unit.

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