Clare restaurants are re-opening today ahead of what many expect to be their busiest weekend of the year.
While local businesses are showing optimism later the lifting of Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions, there are fears about what the New Year may bring.
Restaurants and gastropubs are re-opening today after a closure of more than six weeks, and a bumper weekend is store.
50 million euro is expected to be made by the industry nationwide over the next couple of days as restrictions are eased.
Restauranteurs across this county are already suggesting that they will be busy between now and Christmas, but all are keen to stress that they will be complying with all guidelines.
Tony Cogan, of Cogan’s Bar & Restaurant in Milltown Malbay, believes people will spend more on hospitality now than they did before the pandemic began.
Indoor dining will be allowed, but with extra precautionary measures in place such as temperature checks, mask wearing when moving around and social distancing between tables.
People are being advised to pre-book for a meal.
Restaurants Association of Ireland Chief Executive Adrian Cummins insists restaurants are safe.
There are, however, fears about what the post-Christmas period may bring for the sector.
Inter-county travel will be allowed between December 18th and January 6th, but Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has warned a third lockdown could be necessary early next year if case numbers rise significantly over the next few weeks.
Dermot Fetton, owner of Henry’s Bistro and Wine Bar in Ennis, would would prefer to see a ban on intercounty travel again if it meant that hospitality services could stay open.