The reaction to the Government announcement this evening from the Restaurant sector is one of frustration and disbelief regarding the decision to permit only a portion of Indoor Dining to recommence on 2nd June.
Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said, “This decision is baffling, and without proper reasoning on medical or scientific grounds from Government, we have no choice but to take this as discrimination of standalone restaurants, cafes and gastropubs. The Government this week confirmed the decision to restrict businesses other than hotels from indoor dining for the vital first few weeks of summer, is a ‘practical’ and not a scientific one. We have followed all of the health guideline and regulations since March of last year, however the decision today to permit indoor dining in a range of settings, including hotels, B&Bs and indeed cinemas weeks before standalone restaurants, cafes and gastropubs can only be seen as an arbitrary, unjust and discriminative one. This decision restricts a section of the hospitality industry’s ability to trade viably over the Summer as only 20% of the sector can engage in outdoor dining. It also prevents employees from returning to work and jeopardises the re-employment of 110,00 worker.”
Restaurants, hotels, cafes and gastropubs have all followed and implemented the exact same safety protocols for diners since June of last year, we signed up to the same Safety Charter. If the medical advisors and government have decided it is now safe for indoor dining in a hotel restaurant then standalone restaurants, cafes and gastropubs should be permitted to reopen at the same time too – what we are asking for is Indoor Dining Equality!
Finally, the Restaurants Association of Ireland is calling for a fair and equitable solution by allowing all independent restaurants, cafes and gastro pubs to reopen alongside hotel and guesthouse restaurants and failing that has no choice but to progress our legal challenge at the earliest opportunity. ”