Tourism Minister Catherine Martin said she was confident the anomalies surrounding the reopening of nightclubs and concert halls will be resolved within the next 24 hours.
Ms Martin said she is engaging closely with the hospitality industry to give them comprehensive advice so that the reopening of the premises – as well as further easing of restrictions in restaurants, pubs and hotels – can take place on October 22.
Government officials met with hospitality industry officials on Wednesday afternoon to discuss anomalies ahead of further easing of restrictions from Friday, including the reopening of nightclubs.
Representatives of the Restaurateurs Association, the Hotel Federation and the two publicans associations met at 3 p.m. officials from the Tourism Department and the Business Department.
Speaking at an event at the Epic Museum in Dublin, Ms Martin said:
“My message to those who are involved, to the promoters, to the venues and to the musicians, is to support us for another 24 hours. I am convinced that we will have a solution.
Ms Martin said when the number of Covid-19 cases started to go in the wrong direction and Nphet’s letter arrived on Monday evening, it resulted in some changes in reopening plans.
“I am very aware of the needs of this industry and I am solution oriented. With the officials of the ministry, we collaborated a lot with the sector ”, she declared.
She said nightclubs are reopening without antigen testing and at 100% capacity.
She said people wouldn’t have to wear masks to dance or drink.
“We’re working on the guidelines on everything else with the industry. This engagement occurs with the night economy sector.
When asked if she accepts responsibility for the anomalies that have arisen, she replied that “every twist in this pandemic, especially every opening hour, there seems to be complications.”
Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurant Association, said Wednesday that several anomalies resulted from the decision. He reported a situation where a restaurant would not be able to host a reception because there was a maximum of ten people per table.
“A hotel down the street might have a black tie dinner, for example, with 100 people attending, but restaurants don’t know if they would be allowed to do the same, with ten tables with a maximum of 10 people at each table. “
“Sense of the point of view”
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin called for a “sense of perspective” in the debate over the country’s continued reopening by promising that outstanding concerns about the operation of nightclubs would be resolved.
Speaking outside government buildings on Wednesday morning, Mr Martin also said he would request more regular compliance reports on the use of Covid-19 vaccination certificates by businesses.
Asked about criticism of the lack of clarity, Mr Martin said:
“To be honest, my main concern is to protect public health and to protect the safety and lives of people, and we need to get a sense of the perspective in the debate.
“This morning, there are 464 people hospitalized. They were 74 in intensive care. They are real people. We want to keep these numbers low.
“Unfortunately, over the past two weeks the situation has worsened. It is in this context that we announced a further cautious reopening of sectors of the company. “
Mr Martin said a stricter regime in terms of verifying Covid-19 certificates is on the cards.
“I will be looking for more regular compliance reports with regard to compliance with the presentation of the vaccination certificate and other protective measures. And I asked the Secretary General to compile this report and the regulatory forum is meeting today, made up of bodies around compliance.
Nightclub operators say they need to see guidelines so they can understand what the rules will be around social distancing and wearing masks, and so they can decide if they are workable.
Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), which represents late pubs and bars in Dublin, said publicans had “no idea” how the rules were going to work.
In many cases, Dublin City nightclubs functioned as normal bars during the early hours, and several pubs had a separate club section, he said.
“The reality is that every late bar in Dublin is an ordinary bar until 10pm or 11pm… There are very few real ‘nightclubs’, even the Coppers had a grill during the day,” he said. declared.
There was no separate “nightclub license” to distinguish between clubs and late bars, he said.
In the Dáil, Labor leader Alan Kelly called proposals to reopen nightclubs “unworkable and incomprehensible”.
He told Taoiseach Micheál Martin he had “put the cart before the horse” and should have consulted with the entertainment industry before the government announcement Tuesday of the reopening.
Dave Speaks of Hidden Agenda Promotions, which hosts concerts and club nights at The Big Romance bar on Parnell St, criticized the location’s uncertainty days before the reopening.
“We have club events for Friday that it looks like it’s allowed to go ahead, but we’re still figuring out some of the mechanics of how a club show works,” he said. -he declares.
“The phrase that there are anomalies, by Micheál Martin I think is probably an understatement,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
“In practice, there is a plethora of minute anomalies that we encounter – for example, I have a show on Friday week and it’s a live show, but it’s 9pm gates that go. continue until 3 am, so it’s kind of in a club setting and I have no idea if that’s allowed under the current guidelines, ”he said.
There was particular confusion for places that functioned as pubs, which also had club nights, he said.
“Often times, how these venues would work is that they will have a concert at 8 pm, which will end around 11 pm, and then they will move into their club,” Mr. Parle said.
“What we’re trying to figure out is we’re saying these 8pm shows can’t go on, but if the band were to play later that night, during the last part of the night’s license, is- what allowed to dance upstairs? ”he said.