A Cork hotelier has criticised the Government’s “blanket” decision not to increase the number of people who can attend indoor events.
It had been hoped that Ireland would proceed to phase 4 of the reopening plan next week which would have permitted gatherings of up to 100 people indoors.
However, the Government has paused the plan for another three weeks amid concerns over rising Covid-19 cases.
Michael Magner, proprietor of the Vienna Woods Hotel in Glanmire said the decision would have significant implications for many couples, especially those who have pushed their wedding dates out in recent months.
“What we are seeing is many couples that had weddings booked during the lockdown postponed them to later dates. Some couples had their dates pushed out to some dates in July or August, and they were forced to re-push them out again, so some couples have been faced with the reality of moving their wedding two maybe three times over this entire thing which is not fair,” he said.
“Maybe, in a way the Government needs to come out and say guys, this is the status quo, this is the way it is going to remain until January next year and then we work with it,” he added.
Mr Magner said that while the hotels would work with these three week pauses, that this was no consolation to couples trying to plan their weddings.
“They are throwing the couple’s days into chaos,” he said.
Vienna Woods will re-open its doors this weekend for the first time since March and has a booking for a wedding for 100 people.
“What we have decided to do to meet the guidelines is to have the arrivals reception outdoors, and then we have to split the wedding party into two rooms. That’s to address the problem we are placed with immediately, but moving forward that’s not the ideal solution,” he said.
Mr Magner stressed that while hoteliers wanted to do their utmost to protect the health of society he believed that the decision to retain numbers for indoor events at 50 is “unwarranted.”
He said that the ballroom at the Vienna Woods could accommodate more than 90 people with two metres social distancing and 250 people with one-metre social distancing.
“It’s like they are trying to push a blanket ban on indoor numbers, but the reality is that it’s not based on any proper metric,’ he said.