The hospitality sector in Ireland has been dealt a further blow as Taioseach announced a delay to reopening and the introduction of vaccine passes when businesses are permitted to fully trade again.
Micheál Martin announced yesterday that indoor hospitality will now not reopen on July 5, due to increasing cases of the Delta Covid-19 variant.
When it does reopens, it will be limited to those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19, he said.
The sector was not given any more details on the delay, and no date was provided on when indoor drinking and dining can resume.
However Martin said over the coming weeks, the government would work ‘urgently with the relevant sectors to agree as practical and workable solution’.
He also recognised the incredible strain the hospitality and tourism sectors had been under throughout the pandemic and said additional support would be provided in the coming weeks.
There is to be an increase in the number of people who could attend outdoor events and the number of attendees to weddings would rise to 50 as planned.
Speaking to the BBC, Cathal Doherty, who owns the Ballyliffin Townhouse Boutique Hotel in County Donegal, said: “It’s beyond confusing, we just seem to be going backwards.”
He added that the delay to reopening would be seen as the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for many.