Tánaiste Says Resuming Indoor Hospitality Services Is 'Relatively Low Risk'
Published on Jul 23 2021 8:01 AM in General Industry tagged: Featured Post / Fáilte Ireland / Restaurants Association of Ireland / RAI / HSE / Health Service Executive / National Public Health Emergency Team / Nphet / indoor dining / indoor drinking
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that resuming indoor hospitality services is "relatively low risk".
As reported by rte.ie, Varadkar told RTÉ's News at One that the resumption of indoor hospitality services is "relatively low risk" because individuals who will be dining and drinking indoors will have immunity, with the exception of any accompanying children, and that they will be in a controlled environment.
The tánaiste reportedly said earlier that gardaí will ultimately have a role in enforcing the rules for indoor hospitality services "in the event of someone being unruly and trying to gain entry to an establishment when they don't have proof of immunity, or for example if it turns out a proprietor is not enforcing the rules and regulations".
Varadkar reportedly said that he has no doubts "that garda representative organisations would have complaints about enforcement", but that the legislation on the resumption of indoor hospitality services allows for a 'Class C' fine.
Varadkar reportedly said that similar rules, such as mask wearing indoors or taking names and numbers for contact tracing have already been put in place.
He reportedly said, "A lot of these procedures are already in place for other things. Now we're just extending it to one new check, which is to check that somebody has a certificate of immunity.
"People can try to overcomplicate this, but it actually isn't all that complicated."
Varadkar reportedly said that the decision is in line with National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) advice in all areas and departs from it solely by allowing unvaccinated children to enter hospitality venues along with their vaccinated parents, which he reportedly said the government did because does not want to separate parents from their children in such circumstances.
The tánaiste reportedly said the government has "never tried to break up a household bubble before" and due to the risks that remain to staff and others, social distancing, mask wearing, table service and limits on the number of people that can sit at a table will all be in place.
Varadkar statements follow news that news that the Cabinet has agreed that indoor hospitality services can resume on Monday July 26 for individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and individuals who have recovered from the virus.
The Cabinet's decision came after President Michael D. Higgins signed the legislation on the resumption of indoor hospitality services, which is called the Health Amendment Bill, into law on Wednesday July 21.
Meetings About The Legal Rules For Indoor Hospitality Services
Final meetings to agree the legal rules for indoor hospitality services will reportedly take place today (Friday July 23).
The Attorney General will reportedly meet with government officials and Fáilte Ireland today to finalise the legal underpinning for the new indoor hospitality services system ahead of the resumption of indoor hospitality services on Monday July 26.
Outstanding legal issues reportedly centre on the enforcement and recognition of international COVID certificates.
The hospitality sector was reportedly given a technology run through of the new scanner to check digital COVID certificates on Thursday July 22.
It is reportedly expected that Health Service Executive (HSE) environmental officers will carry out inspections at hospitality venues to ensure that businesses are complying with the regulations and guidelines for indoor hospitality services.
RAI CEO Statements
Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) CEO Adrian Cummins reportedly said that 22,000 businesses want to resume indoor hospitality services from Monday July 26.
Cummins reportedly said on RTÉ's Morning Ireland radio programme that he will be meeting Fáilte Ireland officials today to see the final document of regulations and operational guidelines for the resumption of indoor hospitality services so that the RAI knows as a trade representative what the exact requirements hospitality venues are.
Cummins reportedly said that there is a legal requirement for businesses to carry out indoor hospitality services in a proper manner and that the RAI expects all businesses to apply all of the public health guidelines.
Cummins reportedly added that customers must also understand what is required of them.
Increasing COVID-19 Case Numbers
The latest easing of COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions for the hospitality sector comes as HSE CEO Paul Reid said that the five day moving average of COVID-19 cases is up 95% on last week, and the seven day average has increased by 93%.
Reid reportedly added that the five day moving average is up 160% compared to two weeks ago, and the 14 day incidence rate has risen by 66% compared to last week.
Ireland's deputy chief medical officer Doctor Ronan Glynn reportedly said that the number of COVID-19 cases related to overseas travel has risen "very sharply" recently.
Glynn reportedly said in a Twitter post that between July 5 and July 18, 676 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in individuals who had returned from Spain, the UK and Portugal in the previous fortnight.
© 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.