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OVER A BARREL HOSPITALITY SECTOR BEING PUT IN A VERY DIFFICULT SITUATION IN THE SOUTH – AONTU

Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has spoken out against the pressure that the  government is putting on the Hospitality Sectors, as 25% of the Hospitality Sector decide they won’t reopen under the current government regimen.

An Teachta Tóibín: “Many indoor hospitality businesses have been closed for nearly 500 days. This has done untold damage to businesses and lives of workers. In many small towns some pubs simply wont open again, ever”.

“Indoor hospitality was cancelled again at the start of July at the 11th hour, now we hear 25% of restaurants/pubs cant reopen under the current regulations. 1 week in July is the equivalent to 6 weeks in winter in terms of Revenue for the Hospitality Sector. Much of the summer has passed and schools will be back in the next month”.

“This sector has been over a barrel economically and many will do anything to get reopened. But the pressure being placed on them under the current regulations is exceptional. Staff numbers will have to increase at a time when capacity has fallen considerably. Staff have become harder toget and many have left the industry altogether”.

“The government has increased the number of conflict points that Publicans will have to deal with. Customers who have been outside who seek to join friends inside who are not vaccinated will have to be refused. Lifelong customers, friends and neighbours make seek admission and put publicans in an invidious position. People who seek to make a political point in terms of the discriminatory elements of the legislation may test the resolve of a publican in order to bring a test case against the legislation”.

“And all the while the government has refused to date, to consider antigen testing as solution to the problem. If Ireland was the only country in the world the government’s position maybe possible to defend. But its not, Every other European country has either just opened or opened with a Hospitality pass that includes an antigen test. A person with a vaccine can get Covid and they can transmit Covid. A simple pharmacy antigen test would strengthen the public health aspect of the plan and dissolve the unfair discriminatory aspect of the new law.    The Irish government keeps trying to reinvent the wheel and ending up with a triangle”.

“The government has been an impediment to recovery, not an ally. The decision to postpone indoor dining was made at the eleventh hour. Four days before reopening today, the rules for indoor dining were still not published. Then changes were still being made late last night. It was lunch time before many publicans got the details.  QR Code scanning is not feasible in many parts of the country with poor broadband and many staff and citizens are not experienced in their use. The Vaccine Discrimination Bill was published last minute, and railroaded through the Dáil before the recess with no amendment and negligible debate. This is no way to treat a sector of the hundreds of thousands of young people this will targets.”

ENDS

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