New guidelines for hospitality venues will come in handy, says Taoiseach

Taoiseach Michéal Martin said last night (Wednesday October 20) during a meeting of his party that new guidelines for reception venues will soon be published and will apply from tomorrow (Friday October 22) …

Taoiseach Michéal Martin said at a meeting of his party last night (Wednesday, October 20) that the new guidelines soon to be published for venues that will apply from tomorrow (Friday, October 22) will be practical and the common sense will apply.

The news follows news earlier this week that the government announced that COVID digital certificates will be required to enter indoor hospitality spaces, including restaurants, cafes, pubs and nightclubs until February 2022 at the earliest, among a number of other measures.

As reported by rte.ie, the new guidelines are expected to allow multiple reservations of tables in bars and restaurants, and table service is also likely to continue in bars, but social-distancing queues will be allowed at bar counters.

However, people would apparently not be allowed to congregate at the bar and the move would be aimed at addressing staff shortages.

Additionally, allowing people to stand at live events could involve a certain capacity limit, as well as ticketing and COVID-19 certificate requirements.

Le Taoiseach reportedly said collective behavior must change to level the current rise in COVID-19 cases and that antigen testing will be widely used.

Interviews between officials and industry representatives

A spokeswoman for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media Minister Catherine Martin reportedly said discussions between officials and industry representatives on the issues yesterday (Wednesday 20 October) were constructive.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) reportedly described yesterday’s negotiations with ministry officials over further easing restrictions on hospitality as a “useful commitment”, and that it hopes to have clarification on reopening guidelines. late bars and nightclubs by tonight (Thursday October 21).

However, LVA chief executive Donall O’Keeffe reportedly said it was a “ridiculous” and “chaotic” situation that the new guidelines had yet to be released after a long shutdown.

O’Keeffe reportedly said it is important for bar counter service to be licensed as it is central to the service provided in late bars and nightclubs, and that the industry welcomes increased certificate regulation COVID-19, and that it is clear that there will be more attentive to this in this next stage of reopening.

O’Keeffe reportedly warned that the industry is under “enormous pressure” to get things done before nightclubs and concert halls reopen “for the first time in 585 days” on Friday, October 22, is “extremely late” to receive direction today.

O’Keeffe reportedly said the revised guidelines were needed “as soon as possible” because “time is really running out”.

Government officials from three departments are said to have held separate meetings with various representatives of the hospitality industry on Wednesday, October 20, officials from the tourism, health and business departments are said to have met with wine growers, hotels and restaurants about the issue new directives stemming from a further relaxation of restrictions. .

Meanwhile, contacts would continue with events and musical organizations regarding the reopening of concert halls and nightclubs on Friday, October 22.

Minister Martin reportedly said engagement with the industry continued, but was “confident” of a solution to the problem of standing in concert halls within the next 24 hours.

New enforcement measures

Separately, new enforcement measures should have been discussed at a meeting of the Government Regulatory Forum yesterday.

This allegedly involved government officials meeting with Gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority as well as environmental health officials.

Statements by the leader of the Labor Party

Labor Party leader Alan Kelly reportedly said the government’s plans to reopen nightclubs and live events on Friday 22 October were both “impractical and incomprehensible”.

Kelly reportedly said in a speech at Dáil that the government could have consulted the entertainment industry ahead of this week’s announcement, but instead put “the cart before the horse”.

Protecting lives and health had to inform the approach

The Taoiseach reportedly said in response that protecting people’s lives and health must inform the government’s approach beyond anything else, and that the government’s central message regarding the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions is that this must be done in a “cautious” manner.

Le Taoiseach reportedly said the proposed measures for live entertainment should be “demarcated” and that he accepts that the industry has not been very noticed, but that is how the situation has turned out.

The Taoiseach reportedly noted that there had been numerous calls for enforcement of the COVID digital certificate regulations, although the government came under heavy criticism when introducing the measure regarding perceived threats to civil liberties.

“Eleventh hour”

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) reportedly said it was “the eleventh hour” and that there were no full guidelines yet.

RAI President Mark McGowan reportedly said during speech on RTÉ Morning Ireland radio program that venues hope the direction will be given as soon as possible, and, “There are a lot of decisions that have to be made. We have to plan the lists, we have to plan the logistics of our seating plans in restaurant, and we may also need to hire more staff.

“The fact that the COVID certificates are here to stay – which I actually welcome – I think it’s an additional labor cost, but it mitigates the risk and I think it’s ultimately to what it is. “

Frustration in the live music industry

There would also be enormous frustration in the live music industry with the government’s partial reopening plan.

Dave Parle, who runs Hidden Agenda Promotions, has reportedly said that it appears that live theater shows this weekend, sold out at capacity, are not being allowed due to their earlier start time.

Speaks would have said while speaking on Morning Ireland that he has a show that is scheduled to open on Friday October 29 that starts at 9pm and continues until 3am at a club, and, “I don’t know if this is allowed under the current guidelines.

“It’s really, really the last minute and it’s very stressful for everyone in the industry, from promoters and managers to the artists themselves who have been waiting for a long time to come back.”

Statements by the Minister of Higher and Higher Education

Higher and Higher Education Minister Simon Harris has reportedly said that extending some COVID-19 restrictions could encourage more people to get vaccinated.

Harris reportedly said during a speech at a pop-up vaccination clinic at Trinity College Dublin that he believed many young people might take into consideration the reality that COVID-19 certificates will be in place until spring 2022, and, “About 850,000 people in our country are between 16 and 29 years old. The last set of numbers I saw shows that about 695,000 of them have been fully vaccinated, that’s huge, really good. . But that also means, if we do our math, around 155,000 who are not yet fully vaccinated. “

When asked if he feels there has been a lack of compliance with COVID-19 certificates on the part of companies, Harris reportedly said regulators will meet to discuss the issue and all options are on the table to improve the application.

However, Harris reportedly said he believed that better compliance with the enforcement of existing measures could be achieved without introducing additional sanctions.

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click on subscribe to subscribe to the Hospitality Ireland printed edition.

About James K. Bonnette

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