A cohort of restaurants and cafés is planning to reopen fully on June 2, in defiance of the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, thehas learned.
The campaign, coordinated on social media in recent days, has identified June 2 as its planned reopening date as this is the day when hotels and guesthouses are allowed to reopen.
All hospitality businesses are due to reopen for outdoor-only dining soon after, but there is no restart date for indoor dining in restaurants and cafes.
In the North, these businesses could be fully open by June 2.
Theunderstands that a group of restaurateurs is seeking to build a wide campaign to bring pressure on the Government to drop all restrictions by June 2 for all businesses across all hospitality sectors, including pubs. They plan to reopen regardless if they don’t get the indoor go-ahead by that date.
An outspoken member of the campaign, Killarney restaurateur Paul Treyvaud said on Friday the campaign is urging "all of hospitality and other sectors that are closed" to get involved. The full campaign is due to be unveiled in the coming days.
This campaign is not affiliated with the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) which has separately written to the Health Minister seeking the statutory instruments that allow hotels to reopen on June 2, while excluding restaurants from indoor dining.
The campaign of civil disobedience flies in the face of the positive messaging coming from health officials, with Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan advising that vaccinated grandparents can hug their grandchildren.
His remarks came as the country prepares for intercounty travel next week.
“People who are vaccinated are in a position to meet up with other people who are unvaccinated, as long as they come from one other house and are in the low risk groups. It enables them to do that and not have to take the other precautions,” he told the.
Dr Holohan urged people to become familiar with the restrictions and understand their individual risks so everyone can move forward safely for the summer.
“It is really important as we move past May 10 that people stick to the measures and that we don’t move ahead of them,” he said.
Nphet is anticipating a slight rise in cases in the coming days as a consequence of the increased socialising in recent weeks. That prediction came as the country was told of 434 new cases and four new deaths associated with the virus.
And despite the rising case numbers in parts of the country, including Donegal and Kildare where the 14-day incidence rate far exceeds the national average, officials say there are no plans for local restrictions yet. However, Dr Holohan said that policy could be revisited later if necessary.