Hospitality businesses in Cork have had to rethink their outdoor dining strategy in response to the Level 3 restrictions which came into effect today.
The restrictions mean that bars, restaurants, and cafés are just open for takeaway and delivery, and for outdoor dining of up to 15 people.
Businesses on Princes St have made dining al fresco a great experience for people from Cork and further afield during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, each business will now have to revise down the number of people permitted to eat on the street.
When asked about areas such as Princes St, a spokesperson for City Hall said it is the responsibility of each business to ensure compliance with Government restrictions.
“Cork City Council strongly recommends that individual businesses will fully comply with government requirements and configure their outdoor seating areas accordingly,” the spokesperson added.
Paul Montgomery, owner of Clancy’s bar on Princes St said the new regulations would be loss-making for them. He said some of the businesses on the street will open, but some will close.
“It’ll pay nobody to be open. The only reason we will open to keep a little bit of vibrancy and to give some little bit of hope to people in the city,” he said, adding that a takeaway option wouldn’t be financially viable for Clancy’s.
Meanwhile, traders in the city who do wish to continue with outdoor dining can still apply for weatherproofing measures from Cork City Council.
A City Hall spokesperson confirmed that to date approximately 70 applications have been received, but it’s expected that this figure could increase by up to 20 by the closing date, which is tomorrow (Thursday, October 8).
“These applications are being processed as quickly as possible with a view to ensuring that the infrastructure can be on the streets as quickly as possible. We continue to engage and work with individual streets with regards to their reimagination plans,” the spokesperson said.