On-trade

Ireland to be only EU country with indoor ban

From July the 2nd, Ireland is set to become the only country in the EU with a full ban on indoor hospitality in bars and restaurants.

 

“Despite the fact that Ireland’s vaccination program is advancing faster than Denmark’s, their economy has reopened at a faster rate due to the introduction of mass testing." - ISME's Neil McDonnell.

“Despite the fact that Ireland’s vaccination program is advancing faster than Denmark’s, their economy has reopened at a faster rate due to the introduction of mass testing.” – ISME’s Neil McDonnell.

This is according to a review collated by Drinks Ireland based on the European Centre for Disease Control database and industry members across the EU.

The review, covering the 27 EU member states and the UK, found that all countries except Greece are currently facilitating indoor dining in restaurants and bars with restrictions in place.

And according to the Drinks Ireland’s analysis Greece is scheduled to reopen indoor hospitality on the 2nd of July which will make Ireland an outlier from that point.

“Since the partial reopening of the hospitality sector here in early June, publicans and hospitality operators have proven themselves committed to – and highly capable of – delivering safe environments with stringent Covid measures in place,” said Jonathan McDade, Senior Executive at Drinks Ireland, “After one of the longest Lockdowns in Europe the June reopening has resulted in hugely positive consumer sentiment towards being able to enjoy a safe and sociable Summer. Urgent clarity is now required from Government about July 5th.”

On trade status, 22nd June
Y= Yes
Y//R = Yes with restrictions
Outdoors
Indoors
Austria
Y
Y // R
Belgium
Y
Y // R
Bulgaria
Y
Y // R
Croatia
Y
Y // R
Cyprus
Y
Y // R
Czechia
Y
Y // R
Denmark
Y
Y // R
Estonia
Y
Y // R
Finland
Y
Y // R
France
Y
Y // R
Germany
Y
Y // R
Greece
Y
2nd July
Hungary
Y
Y // R
Ireland
Y
N
Italy
Y
Y // R
Latvia
Y
Y // R
Lithuania
Y
Y // R
Luxembourg
Y
Y // R
Malta
Y
Y // R
Netherlands
Y
Y // R
Poland
Y
Y // R
Portugal
Y
Y // R
Romania
Y
Y // R
Slovakia
Y
Y // R
Slovenia
Y
Y // R
Spain
Y
Y // R
Sweden
Y
Y // R
UK
Y
Y // R

 

The Irish Small to Medium Enterprises Association has also called for greater clarity from Government on the issue. Despite concerns about the reopening of indoor hospitality due to the Covid-19 Delta variant, Government is duty-bound to give businesses, suppliers, airlines, accommodation and employees as much notice as possible, stated ISME, adding that a few days’ notice for businesses that have been closed for an extended period is not acceptable.

“Casting public doubt around reopening when so many of our hospitality business are flatlining is serious and damaging,” said Neil McDonnell, ISME’s Chief Executive, “The expected reopening date is fast approaching and business owners and their employees need clarity as to whether they can reopen their doors on the 5th July. This doubt will cause thousands of workers to reassess their plans to come off the Pandemic Unemployment Payment payment and return to work.

“While the Delta variant is undoubtedly a concern, the ‘a la carte’ approach to the science of our Public Health approach needs to be reviewed. This comes at a time when the National Public Health Emergency Team is refusing to implement international best practice on mass testing including rapid antigen testing.

“ISME has engaged with Government and pushed for the widespread rollout out of Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Testing, which would safely support the reopening of our business and workplaces.”

Referencing international examples, Neil McDonnell continued, “Despite the fact that Ireland’s vaccination program is advancing faster than Denmark’s, their economy has reopened at a faster rate due to the introduction of mass testing.

“The longer the Government waits before taking executive control of the reopening of our economy, the greater and more expensive will be the economic damage. Sticking to the planned reopening on 5th July may indeed increase Covid-19 case numbers and hospitalisations, but this must be weighed against the grave toll in lost jobs, lost incomes, lost businesses, lost hope and lost lives that NPHET’s lockdown-and-vaccination-only strategy is inflicting on society.”

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