Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has called for talks to convene between government and stakeholders in the hospitality sector regarding supports, a plan for a future, and a safe return to full trading.
Speaking following the latest public health restrictions imposed upon the hospitality sector, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The introduction of new public health restrictions for the hospitality sector is another disappointment in a long line of disappointments for businesses in the sector.
“These new restrictions, a week out from Christmas and impacting one of the biggest trading weeks for pubs and restaurants, have sent shockwaves throughout the sector.
“Businesses had already been suffering as a result of earlier closing hours, government advice for people to work from home and to reduce social contacts.
“As ever, the sector is understanding of the worsening public health situation, but they are extremely frustrated at being singled out as part of the problem, especially when the vast, vast majority of pubs and restaurants been complying with the public health measures, to the letter.
“It shouldn’t be forgotten that there are workers, families, and businesses affected by the reintroduction of these restrictions, and for many it will mean job losses on Christmas week.
“Therefore, it is important that the government supports workers and the sector by ensuring the necessary supports are in place, and accessible immediately.
“The current and evolving Covid situation is complex and multifaceted, but that does not mean that a plan for a future safe return to full trading in 2022 cannot be agreed through dialogue between the government and the hospitality sector.
“This must include a detailed discussion on ventilation, filtration and all mitigation measures.
“Given the seriousness of the situation, and the public health restrictions imposed on the hospitality sector, I believe the best way to provide some certainty to the sector, to ensure all questions are answered, and for a way forward in 2022 to be found, is for immediate dialogue between government and stakeholders in the hospitality sector.”