The blame for rising COVID case numbers should rest with the Government rather than hospitality, according to celebrity chef Paul Treyvaud.
Representatives of the industry are meeting with Government officials after an ESRI survey found that around a third of customers are not being asked for COVID certs.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland is disputing the findings – pointing to data from the nearly 2,000 inspections carried out by the HSE which shows that just 7% of premises were not compliant with COVID regulations.
Some 23% were found to be only partially compliant, while 70% were fully compliant.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Paul Treyvaud, owner of Treyvaud’s Restaurant in Killarney said the hospitality industry is being unfairly blamed for Ireland’s high case numbers.
“The problem at the moment is that the people of Ireland are finding it very hard to trust the Government,” he said. “Particularly after the absolutely shambolic debacle with Eamon Ryan the other day.
“We now can’t trust the numbers we are being given; we now can’t trust anything they are saying and what we need to do is, instead of having the Government pointing the finger and wrongfully saying it is the hospitality industry that is to blame, at some stage we need to point the finger back at them.
“The way they rolled out the vaccine certs was an absolute disgrace. We had no idea; nobody got any form of written confirmation as to what was going on and they put it into bars and restaurants only.
“You can very easily turn around and say, if it is such an important measure, why isn’t it in hairdressers, why isn’t it in chippers and why isn’t it in hotels? Why isn’t it everywhere?
“I know people will turn around and say it is absolutely discriminatory and that is their own opinion – but how can they turn around and say this is so important to combat COVID-19 in Ireland that all we are doing is putting it into bars and restaurants.
“There are a lot of questions to be asked.”
Mr Treyvaud said the decision to mandate the certs for hospitality, but not other industries has undermined trust in the Government.
He also hit out at people abusing business owners who demand COVID certs from their customers.
“It is very simple,” he said. “You can’t break the law.
“The amount of abuse that bars and restaurant owners are getting from people about checking certs and you are into medical apartheid and all this stuff – it is like having an argument with a traffic light.
“We didn’t set this law. If you have an issue with it take it up with the Government.”
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