Plans To Permit Irish Hotels To Reopen In June Are Reportedly On Track
Following news in March that the Irish government might permit hotels to reopen in June, sources have reportedly said that government plans to permit Irish hotels and guesthouses to reopen in June are on track.
According to The Irish Times, sources have said that plans are on track to allow accommodation venues to reopen in June and to lift the ban on travelling outside county boundaries at the same time.
The Irish Mirror has reported June 10 as the current planned reopening date for hotels in Ireland, and that the reopening of hotels will include hotel bar and restaurant services for hotel guests only.
According to The Irish Mirror, a senior government source told the publication, "June 10th is the date that has been mentioned for hotels [reopening]."
The source also reportedly told the publication, "The government will set out its plan for the months of May, June and July [this] week."
When asked whether said plan will include plans for hotels, pubs and restaurant, the source reportedly said, "Yes, hospitality included."
According to The Irish Mirror, the government does not want to open hotels before the June bank holiday for "fear of mass movement" for staycations that weekend.
The Irish Mirror stated that when asked about the June 10 date a different source said, "That would be the optimistic date some are looking at, yes, but depends how things go."
The Irish Mirror added that a further source said that waiting until after the June bank holiday weekend to permit hotels to reopen would "be wise" to avoid a rise in COVID-19 case numbers.
IHF President Statement
Last week, Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) president Elaina Fitzgerald Kane stated, "We are asking the government to outline a more detailed roadmap for reopening the hotels sector safely based on clear progress markers for restrictions to be eased in line with public health improvements. While we recognise the challenges around public health and supressing COVID that it is facing, the ongoing lack of detail is jeopardising the viability of hotels and guesthouses as they grapple with the financial and operational commitments required to be ready to reopen after months of prolonged closure."
Other Hospitality Businesses
According to The Irish Times, government figures are not revealing at present when other hospitality businesses may be permitted to reopen for outdoor and indoor services, but it is thought that indoor hospitality services will not be permitted to resume before July.
According to The Irish Mirror, it is expected that outdoor dining services will be permitted from sometime between the end of May and the middle of June, and according to The Irish Independent, it is widely expected that beer garden and outdoor dining services will be permitted from sometime in June.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) reportedly wants all restaurants to be permitted to reopen simultaneously, rather than allowing hotels to reopen their restaurants for guests first.
The Irish Mirror quotes RAI president Adrian Cummins as saying, "We welcome any indicative date from the government on when hotels and restaurants in hotels will get the chance to reopen.
"As a sector, we have been 100% compliant with all measures and look forward to welcoming customers back to a safe environment and an enjoyable dining experience.
"However, the Restaurants Association of Ireland will continue to lobby to have all restaurants, both in hotels and outside them, opened together."
Meanwhile, according to rte.ie, the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) wants the government to permit pubs to provide outdoor services from May 24.
Rte.ie quotes LVA chief executive Donall O'Keeffe as saying, "Traditional pubs across the country have had it harder than other forms of hospitality and the traditional pubs in Dublin were even more marginalised as they haven't opened their doors for the last 400 days and counting.
"As we reach this unfortunate milestone we are launching a call to action and urging all our members to contact their political representatives.”
"They should press for the reopening of the hospitality sector to begin with outdoor service for traditional pubs, gastropubs, restaurants and hotels from late May."
The LVA also believes that all hospitality businesses should be permitted to reopen indoor services in June along with hotels due to the claim that 80% of Ireland's adult population will have received at least one vaccination injection by the end of June.
Rte.ie quotes O'Keeffe as saying, "We see no justifiable reason for any section of hospitality to be favoured over others."
"Outdoor Is The Theme For The Summer"
However, as reported by The Irish Independent, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said, "We're going to continue to follow the science, and of course outdoor is the theme for the summer."
Martin also said that the government is currently being cautious.
Announcements Expected Thursday
Additional announcements about reopening dates are expected to be made on Thursday April 29.
© 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.