bad rap | 

Publican says NPHET's advice to government is like 'a bad Eminem' song

“It is not working and we are two years in,” the owner of The Two Sisters pub in Terenure, Dublin, has said.
Eminem (Anthony Harvey/PA)

Eminem (Anthony Harvey/PA)

Niall Donald

A despairing publican has called on the government to reject NPHET's advice to shut bars at 5pm - saying we need to keep "people sane."

Last night, NPHET issued new recommendations calling for all indoor events to finish at 5pm and to be capped at 50 per cent capacity in a bid to stop the spread of the Omicron variant.

The Cabinet will meet later today to decide whether to act on the advice.

But speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Deirdre Devitt, owner of The Two Sisters pub in Terenure, Dublin, said the government should reject NPHET's proposals.

"I would ask Leo Varadkar, Paschal Donohoe, Michael McGrath to stand up for business.

“I am concerned about our business; I am concerned about our staff and I am concerned about keeping people in the hospitality business which is a fantastic business.

“This is like a bad Eminem song.

"You know, cut everything, cut the supports, tell people to cut their social interactions, reintroduce the supports and then cut them back again.

“It is not working and we are two years in.”

Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ms Devitt said the government need to come up with a plan to allow life to continue despite the presence of the virus.

"I mean Epsilon and Gamma and Beta or whatever else is coming at us. We are in this for the long hall so what is the plan?” she said.

"Two years later we need a Living with COVID plan. We need to keep businesses open; we need to keep people sane.

"This is going to come at us hard and fast and they will always be coming at us with something.

"If you were a business and you were constantly being hit with something, would you close all the time? That is not a solution."

In a letter from chief medical officer Tony Holohan to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly last night, Nphet also recommended attendances at outdoor events be limited to 50pc or 5,000 attendees.

The public health team has also advised that indoor theatres, cinemas, entertainment, cultural and sporting events should also be subject to a 5pm curfew and attendance limited to 50pc.

The recommendation that attendance at outdoor entertainment and sports events should be limited to 50pc or 5,000 attendees should come into effect from next Monday, Nphet has advised.

The recommendation to significantly curtail opening times for hospitality came as a shock to the sector.

Government ministers were not anticipating such harsh restrictions.

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