Digital Desk Staff
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is set to meet as early as Monday or Tuesday to decide on its advice to the Government on whether the Covid-19 Delta variant should delay the planned reopening on July 5th.
As the Irish Examiner reports, that could allow the Government to make its final decision as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.
It had been expected that Nphet would not meet on the issue until Thursday with the Government to then make the final call on Friday, leaving pubs and restaurants with just three days' notice on whether they could open their doors.
It is understood the Government asked that Nphet give its data on the Delta variant earlier.
The reports come as 443 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed by the Department of Health.
Two Government Senators today called on the Government to proceed with reopening indoor hospitality, saying enough is enough.
Fianna Fáil Senators Pat Casey and Ollie Crowe said the Government needs to show respect to the hospitality industry.
The two men, who both work in hospitality, said the uncertainty of the past 16 months has had a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of staff and business owners.
Rest of society
In a statement, they said it is “deeply unjust” to separate the hospitality sector from the rest of society and the economy.
“It is time to give people the choice and allow them to make their own personal decisions. Where is the vaccine bonus?
“If you are older and fully vaccinated – are you not safe to dine indoors in a controlled setting? When is our industry going to be treated with some respect?”
“The current inequality must end. The Fáilte Ireland guidelines which have allowed hotels reopen up for indoor hospitality are the same guidelines which will apply for restaurants and bars but yet they remain closed.”
The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) on Saturday evening called on the Cabinet sub-committee to meet on Monday.
Chief executive of RAI, Adrian Cummins, said the Government should instruct Nphet to meet on Monday in order to give clarity to the hospitality sector regarding the reopening of indoor dining.
Michelin star chef and restaurateur JP McMahon has said he doesn't believe a delay to the reopening of indoor hospitality will be down to the Delta variant, but due to “mismanagement” by the Government.