Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield has said that the new Covid-19 measures and how they affect the playing of music in pubs and other venues must be properly explained in detail by Minister Catherine Martin.
Senator Warfield said: “Will musicians be allowed to return once all pubs re-open? Will there be restrictions on the numbers of performers in these settings?
“The live music sector has had some of the most severe and long-lasting restrictions placed on it. As we start the long recovery process, live music along with other types of performances will be hugely important to that process. Only yesterday, the Taoiseach specifically mentioned the importance of culture and art.
“Musicians and performers need as much certainty as possible when trying to plan their own way back to live performances. Without Government support many will have to make very difficult calculations as to whether they can return viably. It is vital that they have as much information as possible so that decisions can be better understood and better communicated to the public.
“Sinn Féin early on called for musicians and entertainers to be maintained at the higher rate of Pandemic Unemployment Payment. For workers who are self-employed or sole traders, we also proposed that the government issue them with grants of €5,000, as was the case in the north of Ireland, Germany, and many other European states.
“Where rationale and actual data back up measures, this increases the likelihood that the public will adhere to them. Public confidence in measures is damaged when contradictory and confusing guidelines emerge in a messy and drawn out fashion.”