Restaurants want 72 hours notice before any new restrictions

Restaurants want 72 hours notice before any new restrictions

Under level three restrictions in Dublin, only restaurants with outdoor seating, and those providing deliveries and takeaways, are allowed remain open. File Picture/iStock

Restaurants say they need 72-hours notice before any further Covid-19 restrictions can be introduced in future.

Businesses in Dublin were given six hours notice on Friday before the county was moved to Level 3 of the Government's 'Living with Covid' plan.

Business and restaurant organisations say thousands of euro worth of stock was wasted due to the speed of the restrictions being imposed.

Restaurants Association of Ireland CEO, Adrian Cummins, says hospitality businesses shouldn't be unfairly punished. 

Speaking to Newstalk, he said: "What we don’t want is what happened last Friday, where Dublin business owners and restauranteurs were given six hours notice to close their businesses.

"Our industry has done everything that is was asked to do - around criteria, around contact tracing of guests, around implementing the guidelines. We have done everything right.

"What is being put upon us now is a new strategy where the Government effectively want to lock us down."

Mr Cummins said the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) could not prove conclusively that Ireland's hospitality sector was contributing to the recent rise in Covid-19 cases.

He said: "The problem lies with contact tracing.

“If there is spread from the hospitality sector, how come staff haven’t got it?”

Mr Cummins said that if cases continued to increase at the current rate, even as restrictions are introduced, the hospitality sector would be found not to be the cause.

“We are in a vacuum of the unknown,” he added.

Under level three of the Government's plan, indoor dining is no longer permitted in restaurants and bars in the capital. Only businesses with outdoor dining capability, and those offering takeaways and deliveries, are allowed to remain open. 

While Dublin is currently the only location in Ireland on level three, the Government are considering whether restrictions may be introduced in eight other counties.

For the first time since March, so-called ‘wet pubs’ were allowed open across the country from yesterday.

However, they will remain closed in Dublin for at least the next three weeks. 

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