Calls to extend hospitality opening hours ahead of industry meeting with Government

Hospitality representative groups will also ask for a roadmap detailing how restrictions on the industry can be winded down.
Calls to extend hospitality opening hours ahead of industry meeting with Government

Representative groups from the hospitality sector are due to meet with the Government later this week to discuss the remaining restrictions on the sector.

The groups are asking for trading hours to be extended beyond 11.30pm, by which time all customers must be off premises under current guidelines.

Only fully vaccinated people, or those who have recently recovered from Covid-19 are now permitted to dine indoors, however, the groups are expected to pose the question of extending indoor dining to non-vaccinated people once a certain percentage of the overall population have been inoculated.

They will also call for a roadmap relating to the winding down of remaining restrictions in line with public health advice.

The meeting is due to take place on Wednesday, with Adrian Cummins from the Restaurants Association saying longer opening hours are top of their agenda.

"It's very important now that we start in a step-by-step approach. One of those has to be the resumption of normal trading hours for all hospitality as soon as possible," he said.

While businesses have reported huge levels of uptake for indoor dining since its return last week, Mr Cummins said the early closing time is having knock-on consequences.

"We are finding very much that there is an issue around people congregating on the streets around half 11 trying to get transport back home," he said.

According to the latest data, over 70 per cent of the adult population in the Republic is now fully vaccinated, while over 80 per cent have received their first dose.

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