Big sigh of relief for hospitality sector as Cork remains at level two

Big sigh of relief for hospitality sector as Cork remains at level two

Publician Michael O’Donovan, chairman of the Cork branch VFI serving up a pint at the Castle Inn, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

Those working in the hospitality industry in Cork yesterday were able to let out a sigh of relief as the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) advised the Government to keep the country at level two, while reducing the number of individuals allowed to visit a household to six people from the same home.

On Thursday The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) advised the Government to keep the country at level three, while reducing the number of individuals allowed to visit a household to six people from the same home.

Pubs and restaurants can remain open and weddings and meetings may still take place with a maximum capacity of 50 people, not including event staff.

Prominent Cork publican Benny McCabe, who runs the Heritage Pubs in Cork, including Sin é, Mutton Lane, The Crane Lane, The Oval Bar and The Vicarstown Bar, among others, said the industry is struggling. 

“It’s a week by week situation, we are aware of the gravity of the situation outside of our own industry but our own industry is hurting badly as well.

“I just hope people will keep keeping their distance and behaving as they have been in most pubs.” 

Cork City Vintners Federation of Ireland chairperson Michael O’Donovan who runs The Castle Inn said it was a “huge relief” that they could continue to trade, and Cork was given a chance to bring the numbers down through following the guidelines.

Mr O’Donovan said there had been huge concern among publicans that they may have had to once again close their doors which would have caused numerous headaches and threatened livelihoods.

“It would have been a disaster, laying off staff again, stock issues and financial implications Hotelier. 

Michael Magner who runs Vienna Woods encouraged the people of Cork to listen to the advice of Nphet and comply with the restrictions and guidelines.

“Nphet has advised all households to reduce their social contact, that is a real indicator for us in Cork that we need to do more to avoid level three.

“If we enter into level three, it has significant consequences for jobs and livelihoods, for all the people not just working in hotels but in the hospitality industry, indirect jobs like suppliers and transport, the overall message is good news for now, but take on board the advice from Government, let’s play our part and Cork has a fantastic spirit and great people and we need to avoid level three.”

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