Many hospitality businesses across the country will keep their doors closed today, despite the return of indoor dining.
Pubs, restaurants and cafés are now allowed to reopen indoor service for fully vaccinated people or those who’ve recovered from COVID-19.
It’s the first time indoor dining has been allowed since December - and, for so-called ‘wet pubs’ in Dublin, the first reopening since March 2020.
However, it’s estimated by the Restaurants Association of Ireland that around a quarter of businesses will either remain shut today or stick with outdoor dining only for now.
Some business owners have cited staffing issues as a reason for keeping their doors closed, while others have said they’re waiting until their staff are fully vaccinated.
Unfortunately due to staffing we won't be able to reopen for indoor service from tomorrow but hope to do so in the coming weeks. We will remain open for outdoor service going forward.
The very best of luck to all the businesses reopening tomorrow, go and smash it💪
— Grogans Castle Lounge (@GrogansPub) July 25, 2021
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT INDOOR SERVICE AT PANTIBAR & PENNYLANE in light of today's Government decision to allow indoor service from Monday pic.twitter.com/q0X8JibX37
— Dr Panti Bliss-Cabrera (@PantiBliss) July 21, 2021
Gina Murphy of Hugo’s restaurant in Dublin told Newstalk Breakfast she’s sticking to outdoor for now.
She said: “I just don’t have the staff, to be honest - I lost 19 out of my 26 full-time staff over the course of the pandemic.
“I’ve managed to recruit a wonderful team so far… but we just don’t have enough to do indoor and outdoor.”
She said terrace dining on its own likely wouldn’t be viable without the ongoing wage subsidies, but they’re “blessed” to have the facilities they have despite the extra logistical issues associated with outdoor dining.
Michael O'Donovan runs The Castle Inn on South Main Street in Cork, and is also chair of the Cork City & Cork County branch of the Vintner’s Association of Ireland.
Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show, he said he’s able to reopen as he and his family will be running the pub themselves for now.
He said: “We’re going to operate at the start with our family - we’re all vaccinated.
“I have part-time staff - they’re not fully vaccinated. I asked if they wish to work or what they wanted to do: some have said they’d rather have their second vaccine, and that’s fully acceptable.
“We’re just going to go with us, the family, at first… it’s going to be a true, authentic family-run business for the first couple of weeks.”