Tonight’s government announcement drew mixed reactions among companies in the hospitality industry.
Although the organizations representing the pubs were very well received when the dining room reopened on July 5, the Restaurant Association of Ireland said it was “baffled” by the decision not to allow the opening. restaurants for indoor dining on June 2, as well as hotels. .
Under the government plan, restaurants can provide outdoor service from June 7 and indoor service from July 5.
Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, said the association would legally challenge the government’s decision.
“Without proper medical or scientific reasoning on the part of the government, we have no choice but to view this as discrimination against stand-alone restaurants, cafes and gastropubs,” he said.
Mr Cummins said the move restricted some of the hospitality industry’s ability to negotiate in a viable manner over the summer.
“Only 20% of the sector can indulge in outdoor dining,” he said.
“It also prevents employees from returning to work and jeopardizes the re-employment of 110,000 workers,” he added.
Tánaist Leo Varadkar said he and the Taoiseach will meet with RAI on Wednesday.
“We understand where they’re coming from, but the reasoning behind it all is a gradual reopening,” he said.
“The point is, we can’t reopen everything at once, so we go with the outside before the inside.”
He said they will point out that hotels are allowed to serve in dining rooms, but it always has been.
The Irish Winegrowers’ Federation (VFI) has welcomed the news that pubs will be able to resume indoor service from July 5.
However, he asks the government to bring the opening date forward by four days in order to allow its members to exchange for an additional weekend.
The PFD is also calling for the 105 minute deadline to be removed from the guidelines.
“This announcement is extremely important as it gives certainty to our members and the 50,000 employees employed in the business as to when they can reopen indoors,” said Padraig Cribben, Managing Director of VFI.
“The end of our 15 month nightmare in our business is now in sight,” he said.
He said reopening in time for the traditional summer season is a “big boost” for businesses, which can now forecast July and August.
“However, there are only nine weekends in this short season, so removing one of those crucial weekends by reopening on a Monday is a big blow the government can avoid by simply moving the date forward by four days. July 1, “he said.
The Association of Licensed Winegrowers also welcomed the news.
“It has been a long time coming, but now is the time for hope and optimism,” said Donall O’Keeffe, general manager of the LVA.
Hotels can reopen on June 2, a decision which has been welcomed by the Irish Hotel Federation (IHF).
“Today, hotels and guesthouses across the country have received much needed clarification that will help them plan their activities for the peak tourist season,” said IHF President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane.
As an island nation, Ms Fitzgerald Kane said international tourism was of critical importance, accounting for over 70% of tourism revenue before Covid.
“Although hotels and guesthouses do not count on significant foreign visitors this year, easing restrictions on international travel for business and leisure will be very important in extending the season for many tourism businesses. Irish, while also supporting the recovery in our major cities, especially Dublin, where occupancy levels are lower than in the rest of the country, ”she said.
The number of guests for weddings will increase to 100 in August, a move that is welcomed by venues across the country.
IHF’s Ms Fitzgerald Kane said it was a boost for the couples, many of whom had postponed their marriage several times over the past year.
“Live music and reinstatement of license hours are also important for married couples in the future and we would be happy to have some clarification on that,” she said.
She called for a roadmap for further easing restrictions, especially on small gatherings, including family celebrations and non-essential business events.
“Right now, outside of weddings, there is no provision for family events or occasions that could involve groups of more than six adults,” she said.