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'All options on the table' to re-open indoor hospitality - Cummins

The head of the Restaurants Association of Ireland says 'all options' will be on the table to get...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.17 5 Jul 2021


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'All options on the table' to...

'All options on the table' to re-open indoor hospitality - Cummins

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.17 5 Jul 2021


Share this article


The head of the Restaurants Association of Ireland says 'all options' will be on the table to get indoor hospitality re-opened.

Adrian Cummins was speaking ahead of top-level talks between representatives from the bar and restaurant industry and the Government this afternoon.

In a statement after the talks, the Restaurants Association of Ireland said options for reopening indoor dining “as soon as possible” were discussed at length.

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The talks are set to resume continue on Thursday before proposals are presented to Government for approval.

Indoor dining

Currently, indoor dining is expected to open to fully vaccinated people, or those who have recovered from COVID, sometime after July 19th.

There has been criticism of any so-called 'corona pass' as being discriminatory against those who have not yet been vaccinated.

But Mr Cummims told Newstalk Breakfast he was going into the talks with an open mind.

"We're going into these talks with an open mind and a blank sheet of paper - we want to get a viable, workable, authentic solution.

"It has been announced last night that NPHET won't be at the talks, so we have to continue without them.

"But we would expect that a Department of Health official will be in the talks today - this needs to be a whole of Government approach.

"And we also need senior ministers to roll up their sleeves at critical times when we need to get a deal over the line.

"I think all options need to be on the table, including antigen testing, and also we need to have a discussion around ventilation".

"We're not going in with a negative mind into this - we're going in with a positive opportunity here with a blank sheet of paper: all options on the table, all will be discussed".

NPHET

But he says not having NPHET at the talks is a problem.

"We've asked for NPHET to be in the room today with regard to these crunch talks. We want to get our businesses back open as soon as possible.

"NPHET are the kingmakers, the decision-makers, the Government will have to go to NPHET.

"NPHET have decided already that they want a certain scheme in place - a corona pass - in order for hospitality to be allowed to re-open.

"Every time a Government minister comes out after a meeting with the Cabinet, they say they always will adhere to NPHET decisions.

"They haven't to date, and unless a Government minister comes out today and says that they will steer away from NPHET decisions, at the moment they haven't done so to date".

'Illegal and discriminatory'

While Noel Anderson, chair of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) says any type of corona pass will quickly be obsolete.

"We see the corona pass as extremely divisive, poetically illegal and discriminatory.

"But to be honest with you, we don't really see the need for it.

"On the 19th of July, there'll be 57% of the population fully vaccinated, and that was before the development that the million vaccines [are being sold to Ireland].

"Our members don't want to get sued... so there'll be somebody hopefully from the Department of Justice there to give us the clarification.

"If somebody got stopped on the front door they could take discriminatory action against you - unfortunately that's the country we live in at the moment.

"It's a real-life possibility, and that would have to be addressed".

'All options on the table' to re-open indoor hospitality - Cummins

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Main image: Chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins, arriving for an Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response in 2020. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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Adrian Cummins Indoor Hospitality Licensed Vintners Association NPHET Noel Anderson Restaurants Association Of Ireland

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