Nightclub guidelines: Further talks to discuss ‘anomalies’ in reopening plan

The decision to further reopen the economy gave rise to several inconsistencies between sectors
Nightclub guidelines: Further talks to discuss ‘anomalies’ in reopening plan

Government officials will meet with representatives of the hospitality sector on Wednesday afternoon to discuss anomalies that have arisen ahead of a further relaxation of restrictions from Friday including the reopening of nightclubs.

Representatives from the Restaurants Association, Hotels Federation and the two publican associations will meet with officials at 3pm, according to The Irish Times.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet gave the green light to allow the reopening of sectors that had remained closed until now, including nightclubs and live entertainment.

Proof of immunity from Covid-19 will have to be shown for indoor hospitality and events.

However, the decision gave rise to several inconsistencies between sectors. For example, dancing will be allowed in nightclubs but pubs and restaurants will be confined to table service with patrons not allowed to stand or sit at the bar.

In addition, nightclub operators are unsure of the protocols and rules that will apply to their venues when they reopen.

Government 'listening'

A spokesman for Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said it had been engaging with representatives of the hospitality industry collectively since the Government decision was made.

“The key issues are around the anomalies that might arise and we are listening to the sector and working towards [resolving the issues],” said the spokesman.

The State tourism agency, Fáilte Ireland, is in the process of updating operational guidelines to reflect the updated health advice. Officials from the Departments of Tourism and Enterprise will attend today’s meeting.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has called for a “sense of perspective” in the debate around the continued reopening of the country.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Mr Martin also said he will be seeking more regular compliance reports about the use of Covid-19 vaccination certificates by businesses.

Asked about criticism about the lack of clarity, Mr Martin said: “To be honest my main concern is to protect public health and to protect people’s safety and lives, and we need to get a sense of perspective in the debate.”

Nightclub confusion

Nightclub operators say they need to see guidelines so that they can understand what the rules will be around social distancing and the wearing of masks, and so they can decide whether they are feasible.

Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), who represent pubs and late bars in Dublin, said publicans had “no idea” how the rules were going to work.

Dave Parle of Hidden Agenda Promotions, who run gigs and club nights in The Big Romance bar on Parnell St, criticised the uncertainty venues had been left with days before the reopening.

“The phrase about there being some anomalies, by Micheál Martin I think, is probably an understatement,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

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