No guarantees but hospitality sector has 'constructive' meeting with Taoiseach

The hospitality sector requested that the Government establish a long term plan for the viability of the industry
No guarantees but hospitality sector has 'constructive' meeting with Taoiseach

An emergency meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid is taking place this morning to discuss introducing more restrictions as early as today. File picture: Pexels

Hospitality sector representatives were left with no guarantees from their meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin this morning about the impact of covid-19 restrictions on the sector.

No decisions were arrived at during the meeting but representatives of the hospitality sector said they had a "positive and constructive" engagement with the Taoiseach and Minister Michael McGrath.

The meeting followed recommendations from Nphet that included eliminating the capacity of people to book multiple tables, reducing numbers to six people per table and restricting opening times.

Floods of cancellations have occurred in the past week since Nphet first urged a tempering of social contacts.

In a statement, the Restaurants Association of Ireland said the hospitality sector's concerns with regards to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and a comprehensive support package including a commercial rates waiver plus Covid Recovery Support Scheme for all hospitality businesses was discussed at length.

"While no decision was made at the meeting, Government has confirmed that hospitality businesses will be supported over the next number weeks due to recognition that business has substantially declined," CEO Adrian Cummins said.

The hospitality sector requested that the Government establish a long term plan for the viability of the industry.

The Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) said that the Government has "committed to avoiding uncertainty about new restrictions continuing into the weekend so we expect further developments later today".

The VFI added that an announcement is also expected on "the key issue of supports for the sector".

An emergency meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid is taking place this morning to discuss introducing more restrictions as early as today.

Yesterday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told the Dáil the Government will respond with targeted supports for those employers and employees affected.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said the Government will move "as quickly as it can" in terms of examining the latest Covid recommendations proposed by Nphet.

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