Indoor Hospitality Resumption Expected To Proceed Despite COVID-19 Surge
The planned resumption of indoor hospitality services is expected to proceed despite a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases among young people, senior government figures have said.
The Dáil passed legislation on the resumption of indoor hospitality services for individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and individuals who have recovered from the virus last week, and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar subsequently said that Monday July 26 is the government's target date for the resumption of indoor hospitality services.
As reported by The Irish Times, concern is increasing about the rapid rise in COVID-19 infections, which has seen daily case numbers rise to levels that have not been seen since February, however it is expected this should not affect the advice that it is safe for vaccinated people to dine and drinks indoors at hospitality venues, according to three people who are involved in the discussions at a senior level.
Infections Are "Rising Very Rapidly In Young Adults"
Over the weekend, the Department of Health reported an additional 1,179 cases of COVID-19, with 91 patients in hospital and 22 patients in intensive care, and data circulated to senior officials and ministers has reportedly demonstrated the extent to which the surge in cases is being driven by younger people, with infections "rising very rapidly in young adults", according to a summary of the research.
However, senior sources have reportedly said that their expectation is that this should not lead to increases in hospital admissions at a scale that will put significant pressure on the system.
Modelling circulated to senior officials and ministers by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has reportedly indicated that predicting the impact of the new cases on hospital admissions in the coming weeks is proving very difficult, but sources have reportedly said that they do not expect the concern over the increasing COVID-19 cases numbers to require a change in policy this week, and indoor hospitality services are currently still expected to resume on Monday July 26.
The leaders of the three coalition parties are reportedly scheduled to meet today (Monday July 19) to discuss the current COVID-19 case number situation, and officials have reportedly said that they are in daily contact with public health advisers and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. There is reportedly also likely to be a meeting with Nphet head Doctor Tony Holohan in the coming days, and the Cabinet is due to meet on Wednesday July 21 to approve the final resumption of indoor hospitality services plan in advance of Monday July 26.
A "Bumpy Journey" Over The Next Few Weeks
Senior sources have reportedly said that they are expecting a fraught week ahead as COVID-19 case numbers inevitably increase in advance of the planned resumption of indoor hospitality services, and the chief executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE) Paul Reid has reportedly said that Ireland will experience a "bumpy journey" over the next few weeks.
Calling On Unvaccinated Individuals To Be Cautious
Deputy chief medical officer Doctor Ronan Glynn reportedly tweeted that 2,550 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed over the past two days and called on unvaccinated individuals to be very careful about indoor settings.
Glynn reportedly said, "Unfortunately over the past few days we've begun to see these high cases translate into increasing numbers in hospital and in our intensive care units. There’s a really big reservoir of people who are still vulnerable to this disease over the weeks to come."
© 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.