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Entertainment Sector To Get 'More Clarity' On Reopening Plans Next Week

Published on Aug 24 2021 8:07 AM in Features tagged: Featured Post / Ibec / HSE / Health Service Executive / Pandemic Unemployment Payment / PUP / Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland / MEAI / Events Industry Alliance

Entertainment Sector To Get 'More Clarity' On Reopening Plans Next Week

Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman has said that Ireland’s entertainment sector will get "significantly more clarity" on reopening plans after a Cabinet meeting that’s scheduled for next week.

The news follows news from last week that the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) has called for the government to set a date for the return of live concerts and other cultural events as well as subsequent news that no date was set for the return of live concerts and other cultural events following a meeting between live music sector representatives and Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin, and a call from lobby and business representative group Ibec for a roadmap for the full reopening of Ireland's experience economy, which Taoiseach Micheál Martin said is being worked on at present as part of a comprehensive roadmap that covers all sectors, which is expected to be published by August 31.

As reported by rte.ie, O'Gorman said on RTÉ's Morning Ireland radio programme that plans for the return of indoor sport will also be considered, and that his colleague, Minister Martin, will attend a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on COVID-19 this Friday (August 27) to discuss the situation.

All-Ireland Final Attendance Number Upset

Labour's Marie Sherlock reportedly said on RTÉ's Drivetime radio programme following Sunday August 22's All-Ireland hurling final between Cork and Limerick in Croke Park, at which an attendance of 40,000 was permitted, that it is "simply unacceptable that one sector would bear the brunt of the government's caution at this point in time, while a much more liberal attitude has been taken to other sectors."

PUP Should Remain In Place For Entertainment Sector

Sherlock reportedly said that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) payment should remain in place for the entertainment sector for as long as the COVID-19 pandemic lasts.

Events Industry Alliance Event Promoter Statements

Events Industry Alliance event promoter Justin Greene reportedly has said that while members were happy to see good crowds at the All-Ireland final, the government needed to set a reopening date for the entertainment sector.

Greene reportedly said, "170,000 people will attend [events] in Northern Ireland over the next four weeks approximately, of which 60% of that number will travel from the Republic of Ireland to those events, and it just does not make sense at this stage to not allow and to give us a reopening date."

Greene reportedly said those in the entertainment sector proposed to the government that it would organise events for fully vaccinated individuals from September 1 and provide contract tracing to the Health Service Executive (HSE) as required, but that this proposal was turned down because of the current rules regarding the number of people that are permitted to attend events.

Minister For Higher Education Statement

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris reportedly said that he understands "very much that musicians, artists, people in the live events sector were looking at [the All-Ireland hurling final] and saying 'hang on a second, why can't I be back playing in front of crowds'", and that the expected roadmap for the live events sector will show how the matter can be "rectified" in the coming weeks.

Ibec Chief Executive Writes Letter To Government About Reopening Plan

the chief executive of lobby and business representative group Ibec, Danny McCoy, reportedly said in a letter to the taoiseach and other ministers that businesses welcome that the new that the government is publishing a revised roadmap to reflect the progress that has made in vaccinating the public, but reportedly added that with nearly nine out of 10 adults now fully vaccinated, it is time that greater personal responsibility for individuals and autonomy for businesses in their office operations form the core of the approach in the next phase of COVID.

McCoy reportedly wrote, "Specifically, it must provide the autonomy for all businesses to reopen fully in a safe and phased way", that the "new roadmap must enable businesses to finally plan with certainty for a phased and safe return to office over the coming weeks and months", and that the "experience with the Work Safely Protocol, together with extensive guidance from the Health and Safety Authority, provides the confidence that all businesses can ensure appropriate measures for employees and customers."

Ibec reportedly also expressed concern about the continuing restrictions on the parts of the experience economy, such as live events, music and the arts.

McCoy reportedly stated, "The particularly long length of the restrictions period for these businesses has left many of them and their employees in perilous circumstances," and, "These businesses will face a difficult path in the return to viability, but government restrictions should no longer be one of the obstacles that they need to grapple with."

McCoy reportedly added, "The roadmap must provide absolute clarity and certainty for all businesses to fully reopen as quickly as possible beginning no later than mid-September."

Previous Ibec Call For Reopening Roadmap

News of McCoy's letter follows last week's news that Ibec has called for a roadmap for the full reopening of Ireland's experience economy, saying that greater urgency is needed.

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

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