Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced that level 5 restrictions, with some adjustments, will come back into effect tomorrow.
Among the new measures, from 3pm on Christmas Eve, restaurants and gastropubs will have to close their doors, while hotels, for the main part, may only open for essential purposes.
Vienna Woods Hotel proprietor Michael Magner said that while he understands the need to control the virus, he is very concerned for the hospitality sector and he called for Government support.
“We need to be supported,” said Mr Magner. “We are potentially facing a long period before the vaccine is successfully implemented. We need huge support throughout 2021 for an industry that is vital to the economy.”
The Cork hotelier said he is devastated for all his employees who will once again be laid off for an indefinite period.
“The whole hospitality sector is heartbroken. We are devastated for the people who work with us. They have been laid off, rehired, laid off, and rehired again. It is heartbreaking.
“We completely understand there is a requirement to control the virus. My fear is this will drive people into their homes. That is the reality of it.”
“The various suppliers will all be affected, and we must remember they all employ people,” he said. “The pandemic is causing a pandemic amongst our sector. We are constantly getting it. We are burned out from it. Our people are exhausted.”
Mr O’Donovan has urged the government to increase the current CRSS
rebates which he says will considerably help his members who are understandably struggling to stay afloat.