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Hospitality sector being made 'pay for the sins of others'

The chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) Adrian Cummins has said that the Government is making the hospitality sector “pay for the sins of others.”

Under the proposed additional restrictions dining in restaurants and pubs which serve food will only be permitted if they have outdoor facilities, or for takeaway services.

“We’re not the problem, the problem is in households,” Mr Cummins told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

“This is effectively a hospitality lockdown.”

Mr Cummins said the sector was shocked at the restrictions and that there had been no consultation with the sector. “We had no indication of what the restrictions would be.”

With winter approaching the proposal in relation to outdoor dining would not mean anything, he said as the Irish hospitality sector was not “geared up” for such a service.

“This is about livelihoods. Businesses are now staring down the banks looking for loans to be paid, landlords looking for rent and suppliers looking to be paid. The industry is in crisis.

“The Government needs to step up to the plate and come up with an aid package if the restrictions come in in tonight.”

Mr Cummins said that the hospitality sector wanted to do its part with regard to public health, the right thing for the country, but they felt that the Government was targeting the sector with the least amount of cases.

“This will have huge ramifications for the industry.”

Mr Cummins warned of job losses of between 30,000 and 50,000 in the county of Dublin. “Many small businesses will not recover.”