Restaurant owner wants level two for the festive period

Restaurant owner wants level two for the festive period

A very quiet Princes Street, Cork during the level 5 restictions. Picture Dan Linehan

A CORK restaurant owner has called for Level 2 restrictions for restaurants and clarity on the fate of businesses in the lead up to Christmas.

Claire Nash from Nash 19 has urged the Government to inform businesses about the next phase of restrictions, noting the importance of organising staff and stock amongst other things, prior to what could possibly be a very busy period for restaurants, bars and cafés.

Speaking to The Echo, Claire Nash said that she is hoping for Level 2 restrictions to be in place for the Christmas period.

Claire Nash of Nash 19 at Princes Street in Cork.
Claire Nash of Nash 19 at Princes Street in Cork.

“We want Level 2, Level 2 plus. We essentially would love Level 2 like the July one, that we’ll all open with one and a half meter social distancing requirement and tables, that we will be told exactly what hour we can close at, there will be obviously, something else that’s in around the sale of alcohol,” she said.

Under Level 2 restrictions, restaurants, bars and cafés would be allowed to open with protective measures in place such as physical distancing and table service only and maximum numbers will be linked to the capacity of the establishment, with groups limited to six people from the same household.

Ms Nash said that extra restrictions in terms of opening hours, time limits and the serving of alcohol would be acceptable, but that limits to outdoor dining or takeaway service are “not attainable” during a busy period and unfavourable weather conditions.

“It can’t be Level 4, because Level 4 only allows you to have 15 seats,” she said.

“That’s just not going to wash. That’s just not attainable. We’ll have too many people on the street all queuing, all waiting, and it will be an absolute stampede.”

With two weeks to go until the end of the country’s six weeks of Level 5 restrictions, Ms Nash said that clarity is needed this week for business owners in order to have enough time to prepare, whether it is for a re-opening or a closure.

“If we’re not going to get going tell us, and if we are, give us time to get into it because it’s actually causing nightmares, it’s causing huge angst and an undue level of stress,” she said.

“We all want to trade safely, and we all want to trade under our different licenses properly but, we need to be told what are those yardsticks that we need to reach to get to that.

“Tell us what it’s going to be. Tell us can we actually take reservations. Give us the road map and let us do it,” she added.

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