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gut feeling Restaurant Association chief says one in four businesses won’t reopen for indoor dining on Monday

Mr Cummins said this was his “gut feeling” following conversations with many businesses around their unwillingness to open under the proposed guidelines

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Adrian Cummins

Adrian Cummins

Adrian Cummins

One in four pubs, restaurants and cafés are unlikely to open on Monday for indoor dining, according to Adrian Cummins, the Restaurants’ Association of Ireland (RAI) chief executive.

Mr Cummins said this was his “gut feeling” following conversations with many businesses around their unwillingness to open under the proposed guidelines.

He told RTÉ Radio’s The Business thatthe difficulty for businesses in sourcing the staff needed to operate under the new guidelines is the “single biggest issue”.

Businesses need to have staff at all entrances to check proof of immunity for indoor diners, under the latest guidelines.

"We don't have enough staff and we have to make sure we source as many as possible for our sector.

“What we need to do now is get our doors open from Monday and then look at how the operation of this new regime is in flow, and then we may have to go back to the Government to streamline what it is there to make it more operational for our industry.

"We are moving in the right direction but need to make sure it's streamlined into the future," Mr Cummins said.

Six adults, accompanied by up to nine children, can dine together indoors under the draft guidelines published by Fáilte Ireland late on Friday.

There will also be no time limit placed on customers while it is down to the discretion of businesses whether tables must be pre-booked or not.

Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive of The Vintners Association of Ireland, described the guidelines as "overly prescriptive" and that they provided last minute “unnecessary challenges” that will hinder businesses.

He said in particular the contact tracing requirement for every customer was an the main unnecessary challenge to staff.

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