Taoiseach seeks talks with hospitality sector as one-third not asked for Covid cert

Taoiseach seeks talks with hospitality sector as one-third not asked for Covid cert

The number of people not having Covid passes checked in pubs has shot up from 21% to 37%, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute survey. File Picture: Dan Linehan

The Taoiseach has sought an emergency meeting with the hospitality sector as new research shows falling compliance rates with rules to stop the spread of Covid-19. 

The Department of Taoiseach sent an urgent email on Friday night to representatives for pubs, restaurants and hotels, requesting a meeting on Tuesday at noon.

The meeting is set to focus on the failure to fully comply with rules that require Covid certs to be checked and face masks to be worn in certain settings. 

It will also look at how businesses can better assess the risk to customers and tighten up measures to reduce the spread of the virus. 

The number of people not having Covid passes checked in pubs has shot up from 21% to 37%, according to the latest survey from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

While restaurants had improved compliance between August and September, according to the survey, by October digital Covid certs for more than one in three or 34% of diners were not checked.

The ESRI survey, which analyses behaviour and attitudes around Covid-19 every two weeks, found the number of people choosing to dine indoors has increased since early October.

The results show one in five people take precautions including mask-wearing less than half of the time even though most people follow the guidance most of the time.

People also said while they themselves are following the guidance, their sense that other people are doing so has “dropped significantly”.

Asked where they meet people, the survey found: “Home visits and workplaces continue to account for the largest share of close contact interactions.” 

The results show the number of home visits taking place outdoors or mostly outdoors is dropping.

Data on what happens during home visits to protect against Covid-19 shows the proportion of homes where open windows or doors are used has “fallen sharply since August”.

Hand hygiene, mask-wearing, and travel

“Hand hygiene remains the most common precaution taken during visits to others. Rates of mask-wearing and distancing when visiting others are low but seem to be increasing again,” the ESRI found.

There was no significant change in travel patterns across Ireland or internationally compared to early October.

However, a question about risky locations revealed people feel public transport is the riskiest location.

“Indoor dining is perceived as safer and less risky than public transport, which is rated averages of 4.8 and 4.1 out of 7 respectively,” the ESRI found.

Only schools, cafes, and restaurants were reported as feeling safer during late October than in previous weeks. All other settings showed a decreased sense of safety.

The average sense of worry around Covid declined since January, but has started rising again in recent weeks. 

People are less worried about catching Covid themselves than about the risks to family and friends, to the healthcare system, and to the economy.

Fatigue with restrictions has been at the same level since September and is much lower than in the early part of the year.

People said they were paying less attention to Covid coverage in the media over the summer, but that has increased significantly over recent weeks.

The survey was carried out between October 19 and October 26 with 1,000 adults.

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