One restaurant owner says he can't understand why the Government won't consider an earlier lifting of the hospitality curfew.
David Chawke, owner of The Bank on College Green in Dublin, was speaking after Taoiseach Micheál Martin indicated the 8.00pm closing time could soon be removed.
Earlier Mr Martin said: "We're making progress against Omicron, and there will be a meeting of NPHET next week.
"I would hope we'd be in a position to move further in terms of the current restrictions."
But Mr Chawke told The Hard Shoulder he is not sure why they are waiting until next week.
"It seems they're waiting for a meeting next week, which they potentially could have had this week.
"But they're obviously waiting to see what's going on elsewhere again.
"So it's painfully slow again, and we're just still sitting on our hands and wondering how to plan."
'This has been tortuous'
He says his business has been 'tortuous' so far this year.
"We crawled through in December, we just got over the line insofar as we still had some tourists... and we still had people back meeting up, travelling back into the country or people meeting up at Christmas time.
"January is usually the quietest month of the year and this has been tortuous.
"It's so quiet, it's awful.
"I was in The Bank last night at 7.30 and you probably had 40 people in there, and you're asking them to leave and people are looking at you.
"It's beyond ridiculous: they're asking you for reasoning for it and it's up to us - and I don't know if there's scientific or medical or any type of reason at all because I'm not hearing anything."
He says his business has kept its staff on, and is losing money.
"We keep all our staff on - and we've lost money in The Bank on Monday, and we lost money in there on Tuesday just by turning on the lights and bringing in staff and buying in produce.
"I see staff standing around - and they don't want to be doing that either.
"We're losing like 25/30 hours a week of trading just for whatever reason."
And he believes Ireland should be taking the lead from other countries, which are already open.
"None of us want a massive health issue, none of us want huge ICU levels - we've got staff and customers to look after as well and to worry about.
"But it's been proven like: you can kind of see from these other countries that were ahead of us in this wave.
"Even the UK: they're opening way ahead of us and they didn't have the closures we had.
"I know we're great at shouting at the UK in saying when things go wrong over there, but we're very quiet in saying when things go right over there.
"I know people that have pubs and bars and restaurants and hotels over in the UK, and their business hasn't been affected the same way ours has over the last two years".