Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.41 11 Jul 2021


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Irish chef Richard Corrigan says there’s a “cavalier approach to people's health and safety” being taken by the British government when it comes to reopening.

However, he says countries can’t stay locked down forever - and believes Ireland has done “really well” when it comes to reopening.

Richard is the chef and owner of Bentleys in the West End, as well as other restaurants and bars in London.

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He also runs the Virginia Park Lodge in Co Cavan.

Speaking on Down to Business from the UK, Richard was asked about Boris Johnson’s plans to ease almost all restrictions in England from July 19th.

Chef Richard Corrigan: 'Don't be jealous of London... I feel we're all guinea pigs here'

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He told Bobby: “There’s a much more cavalier approach to people’s health and safety by the present government here - there’s no question about it. But you have to take some risks opening up: we can't stay locked down forever, and it needs to be done in a controlled environment."

“I think Ireland has done really well. I know everyone really feels frustrated… but don’t be jealous of what’s happening in London. I feel we’re all guinea pigs here.”

He said he’s insisting his staff continue to wear masks “until further notice” as the UK reopening continues and rules around face coverings are dropped.

He said: “The wellbeing of the people working for me and working together with me is most important.

“We’ve been open two and a half months, but it doesn’t mean we mightn’t go into a mini lockdown here. If enough staff get infected… they have to quarantine for 12 days, and that means you can’t operate your business.

“Let’s see if this great experiment leads to the opening up everyone wishes and hopes for.”

He also described the Brexit situation as a “complete f****** mess”, saying it’s “impossible” to get wine in London due to import problems.

Main image: Richard Corrigan. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

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