A Clare TD has labelled new rules for indoor dining as ‘divisive, discriminatory and difficult to implement’.
Indoor dining is set to resume for fully vaccinated people and those that have recently recovered from Covid sometime before July 26th.
Ministers met again this morning to discuss when indoor dining can resume, but the Tánaiste has said it will be before July 26th.
Under the new rules, fully vaccinated people or those who’ve recovered from Covid in the past six months will be allowed into pubs, cafés and restaurants.
The Digital Covid Cert should be delivered to all fully vaccinated people by next Tuesday at the latest and that will be used as proof of vaccination, while there’ll be fines of up to 2,000 euro for forging a document and potential fines for premises not carrying out checks.
Children under 18 who are not vaccinated will be allowed to dine indoors if accompanied by a vaccinated parent or guardian, and it’s likely time that limits will apply unless tables are spaced more than 2 metres apart.
There are provisions in the bill approved to allow people to access indoor dining with a negative Covid test, but the Government says more work is needed on that.
It hopes the bill, which will initially be in place for three months, will pass all stages in the Oireachtas this week and speaking on his way into Cabinet, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said compliance will be crucial.
Clare’s Independent TD claims the new rules are ‘divisive, discriminatory and difficult to implement’ however.
Scariff Deputy Michael McNamara fears there will be ongoing segregation of society beyond the earmarked three month period.
Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD has reiterated his belief that antigen testing should be used in conjunction with the Covid Digital Cert to allow unvaccinated people enter premises.
He says no-one would stand for division between the vaccinated and unvaccinated in the long term.
Meanwhile, Clare businesses say urgent clarity is needed on what steps need to be taken to re-open.
It comes as representatives from the hospitality sector are meeting with Government officials today to discuss how the new rules will be enforced.
Ministers have said that detailed guidance will issue from Fáilte Ireland for pubs and restaurants in the coming days.
But with possibly only a week to get ready, one business owner in Clare has hit out over what he’s described as the drip feed of information they’ve been provided.
Frank Landy of Sweet N Green In Ennis has commended the Government for it’s efforts to support businesses and employees so far through the Wage Subsidy Scheme and various support grants.
But he says he’s seriously concerned over the workability of the new rules.
A South East Clare publican claims businesses have been left in a very difficult position, with no option but to agree to the new rules.
Ann Casey of Casey’s in Sixmilebridge says she’s nervous about recommencing indoor service, but like many others in the sector, is trying to remain positive.