The general feeling remains that there’s more to be done on behalf of both trade and suppliers.
“While indoor hospitality should be opened safely in the short term, we need a roadmap back to a hospitality experience with fewer and then, in time, no restrictions,” pointed out Claire Tolan, Managing Director of Irish Distillers, recently.
She’s quite right.
For it’s clear that the current operating protocol must be for the short term only, pending a satisfactory societal vaccination level, generally agreed to rest at around 80%.
It’s imperative that normality returns then to the hospitality trade to allow pubs and restaurants beef up the presently slim chance of re-establishing their businesses built over many many years’ toil.
In effect, the present arrangement offers a ‘sunset clause’ for the trade.
After all, nobody wanted this arrangement, with most considering it deeply problematic from a practical enforcement point-of-view.
“There will be real questions and concerns in the coming weeks as to whether everyone claiming to be vaccinated will be,” predicted Licensed Vintners Association Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe, “It’s also deeply unfair and discriminatory towards hospitality staff and others who may not yet have been vaccinated or who’re unable to do so for various reasons.
“We’re expecting major problems on the ground such as individuals seeking to gain access under false pretences,” he continued, “Tourists that arrive here on a negative PCR test won’t be permitted indoors.”
So, while the present arrangement is far from ideal, it will hopefully have a relatively short shelf-life considering what we’ve all just been through.