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cautiously welcomed Hospitality sector welcomes easing of restrictions but more 'work must be done'

Government must provide a clear reopening plan for 'thousands of businesses'

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Adrian Cummins of the Restaurants Association of Ireland

Adrian Cummins of the Restaurants Association of Ireland

Adrian Cummins of the Restaurants Association of Ireland

The hospitality sector has welcomed the news that Covid-19 restrictions will be eased by October 22nd but a representative body has said that more “work must be done.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressed the nation today after the Cabinet signed off on a plan that will see remaining Covid restrictions eased by the end of October.

The Government’s new roadmap for the easing of all restrictions includes the reopening of nightclubs and, from tomorrow, public transport resuming full capacity.

However, this could change subject to the population’s vaccination percentage and the number of people in hospital with the virus.

The Restaurant Association of Ireland has “cautiously welcomed” the Government’s latest announcement, with Chief Executive Adrian Cummins saying: “The announcement made this evening by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D. goes a long way in terms of outlining a roadmap for the restaurant and hospitality sector with the provision of key dates, metrics and targets, but work must be done regarding business supports for an industry economically flattened since March 2020.

Mr Cummins said that the Government must provide a clear reopening plan for “thousands of businesses who are trying to maintain the viability and plan a way forward for their enterprises and hundreds of thousands of workers within the sector.”

“The Restaurants Association of Ireland has continuously called for a structured, clear and transparent reopening plan which includes continuing supports for survival. With over 50pc of restaurants on the verge of collapse a plan would give hope and confidence to a sector effectively closed for over 18 months.”

Priorities for the RAI include a redraft of the Stay and Spend scheme to encourage business, as well as an extension of the 9pc VAT rate until 2025, Mr Cummins said.

He added that the hospitality sector “must continue to receive supports to survive until trading levels can return with the resumption of international tourism and lifting of all trading current restrictions.”

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