A Cork hotelier has voiced his disappointment around continued restrictions to the number of people allowed to attend events taking place at hotels.
Under level 2 of the Government’s newly published Resilience & Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with Covid-19, 50 people will be able to attend a wedding while individual groups limited to 6 people from up to 3 households are allowed to meet in hotel restaurants and bars.
These figures increase under level one of the plan and decrease from level three.
Michael Magner, Proprietor at Cork's Vienna Woods Hotel said that he welcomed the fact that the Government has taken a decision in terms of highlighting a series of levels 1 to 5, but said he was disappointed to note that at this stage weddings are still restricted to 50.
He also said there was still a “certain confusion” around other events such as conferences.
The Cork hotelier said hotels were controlled environments and he could not understand why hotels were “not being given the opportunity or the chance to demonstrate that we can host these events safely and securely and to ensure that all the regulations are adhered to.”
He said that while the Government is moving in the right direction he believes that “they need to take stock of the fact that we are not being given a fair opportunity to demonstrate that we know what we are doing.”
“What is certain for the hotel industry, and for the wider hospitality industry is that it’s on its knees, that occupancy levels right across the country are startling- they are frightening, and now with the restrictions continuing around occasions and gatherings, it makes for a huge concern around jobs and the security of jobs in the sector, and all associated industries that have business with hotels,” he said.
Mr Magner said hotels would need more support from the Government.
“The contagion from the pandemic has spread to the workings of our economy and that in itself is leading to a catastrophic fall in terms of businesses,” he said.
Mr Magner added: “If Government wants us to play our part in terms of adhering to these guidelines, they have to be aware of the stark consequences in doing that.
“Businesses that are absolutely viable are extremely vulnerable now as a result and therefore the Government are going to need to do more.”
Meanwhile, the Vienna Woods Hotel proprietor said that hoteliers would be seeking more clarification on limits for events like conferences and other gatherings.
The new plan states that up to 50 patrons are permitted and in pods or groups of up to six if appropriate for certain indoor gatherings such as conferences, with arrangements to ensure no intermingling of groups.