'This virus isn't going away, we need a proper plan' - Business group warns

Nightclubs are to shut from December 7th, with seating limits in bars and restaurants
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.00 3 Dec 2021

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'This virus isn't going away,...

'This virus isn't going away, we need a proper plan' - Business group warns

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.00 3 Dec 2021

Share this article

The head of one business group says the Government needs a 'proper plan' to deal with COVID-19, instead of closures.

Richard Guiney, CEO of DublinTown, was responding to another round of restrictions on people and businesses.

Under the plans, nightclubs are to shut from December 7th, while bars and restaurants can only seat up to six adults per table.


Other events, such as entertainment or cultural shows, can proceed at 50% capacity.

And visits to any one household must be limited to three other households at any one time.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin earlier acknowledged that people "have done everything that has been asked of you" and stabilised the surge.

Mr Martin also said supports will be in place to help businesses affected by the latest restrictions.

But Mr Guiney says restrictions cannot be the answer going forward.

"The new restrictions announced today will be extremely damaging for businesses in Dublin city centre.

"Retailers, restaurants, bars, hotels and traders depend on the Christmas season to survive and the Government urgently needs to support these businesses.

"We have spent billions of euro maintaining these businesses so far and we cannot fail them now."

He adds: "This virus is not going away and we need a proper plan on how to live with COVID safely and this constant cycle of closures and restrictions must end.

"The economy, society and peoples’ mental health can't take much more."

'We still can't live our lives'

Labour's health spokesperson, Duncan Smith, says a new strategy is needed.

"The new restrictions announced have many people very frustrated, worried, and anxious about what happens next.

"Despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, we still can't live our lives as we once did.

"A new national effort is needed to bring down numbers in the coming weeks. We can't keep acting as though the latest wave will be our last.

"We need to ensure our frontline hospitals and their exhausted staff are supported, and resourced for the coming weeks.

"There's no silver bullet - but simple measures like HEPA air filters, and subsidised antigen tests, have a part to play."

He adds that the Government must "refocus on controlling and suppressing COVID-19, because they are quickly losing public confidence."

And he says there needs to be a recruitment push around PCR testing.

"Today in the Dáil the Minister for Health confirmed that staff shortages are impacting on our PCR testing capacity, and ability to quickly roll out the third dose of vaccines.

"I would urge the Minister to issue a national recruitment 'call to action' for skilled workers who can support these critical tasks.

"We need to suppress the virus, and boost people's immune response."

Main image: Dublin's Temple Bar with is seen Christmas decorations in November 2014. Picture by: Paul Mayall Ireland / Alamy Stock Photo

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Covid-19 Covid Restrictions DublinTown Duncan Smith Micheál Martin Nightclubs Omicron Restrictions Richard Guiney

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