Statement from Restaurants Association of Ireland in advance of Government announcement today Tuesday 30th March

Restaurants and Hospitality Sector appeal to Government for Clear Roadmap to reopening with TimeLine, Metrics and specific percentage of population vaccinated, for the resumption of business in a viable format.

It has been over one year since the restaurant and hospitality sector was closed and as has been acknowledged by all of Government, it has been hit the hardest of any sector during this pandemic. The Restaurants Association of Ireland is calling for a clear roadmap for reopening with tangible metrics in today’s government announcement. With current case numbers we understand that a reopening date is not yet possible to outline but what level of vaccinations, hospitality admissions and suppression of the virus will allow reopening of our industry?

Chief Executive Adrian Cummins said “Hospitality Businesses are on the brink of collapse, 50% of restaurants face permanent closure. We trust the medical advisors; we do not want to open before it is safe to do so. What we are asking for is the metrics, what is the plan that will allow us to see the light at the end of tunnel?

Our members, our sector and to be frank every citizen is asking for this and having played their part to supress this virus, through grit and sacrifice, they deserve it! Reopening our businesses viably with indoor dining as our 1st priority. The narrative of summer of outdoors doesn’t work for restaurants. We need a plan to reemploy staff and above all our industry needs HOPE.

Government must give confidence to the Hospitality sector that there is a date specific plan to reopen all businesses in a viable format, give confidence to hospitality workers they can return to their jobs and give confidence to the consumer it is safe to go to a Restaurant & Hospitality Business when public health allows.

Increased supports needed for fixed costs during trading restrictions and supports needed for the sector to reopen and survive, including:

  • Plan for reopening with metrics
  • EWSS Continuation into 2022
  • CRSS doubling of current rate to cover fixed costs & continuation into 2022.
  • Commercial rates waiver extended until 2022.
  • Restart Grant for reopening costs
  • 9% VAT rate retained until 2025.
  • Debt warehousing and supports through financing.
  • Staff retention – upskilling & equitable apprenticeship programme
  • Representation on state tourism boards & The Tourism Recovery Oversight Group
  • Stay & Spend Scheme – need to replace with a voucher scheme for reopening.
  • Review of licencing and the Night-time Economy
  • Inclusion on taskforces making decisions for frontline workers including the vaccine certificate consultation group.

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