Tonight’s government announcement has been greeted with huge levels of relief and excitement from the hospitality sector.
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) wants pubs to “get back to the business of what they do best” after a ‘nightmare’ 22 months of lockdowns, closures, partial shutdowns and restricted trading.
“Across Ireland there are 7,000 pubs employing 50,000 staff so the benefits of reopening will be felt everywhere. Overnight, we are saying goodbye to vaccine passes, mandatory table service, contact details, six per table, sitting at all times, 1-metre social distancing, no pool or darts and the ban on using bar counters. It really is remarkable to see it all coming to an end.”
CEO Adrian Cummins has described today as day of liberation: “businesses are breathing a sigh of relief after 2 years of lockdowns and restricted trading and are excited to trade once again.”
“Hospitality businesses welcome the reopening of their doors without restrictions but know that it will take some time to trade out of this and small hospitality businesses country wide have built up debt over the past 2 years – supports will be vital.”
Paul Kelly, chief executive of Fáilte Ireland, added: “The easing of restrictions announced by the Government this evening is a hugely positive step forward and provides much needed hope that in 2022 we will see the beginning of the recovery for our tourism sector.
“Our priority at Fáilte Ireland throughout this pandemic has been on supporting the survival of tourism businesses and driving the recovery of the sector.”