• Tue. Jul 26th, 2022

The Taoiseach also confirmed that restrictions similar to Level 5 will remain in place beyond March 5

Feb 15, 2021

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has warned that Ireland would have too see a “critical mass” of the population before there was any major reopening.
Mr Martin warned that pubs and restaurants could all stay shut for several more months over fears of the resurgence of the virus following the alarming spike after Christmas.
The Taoiseach also confirmed that restrictions similar to Level 5 will remain in place beyond March 5 as the Government aims to take a slow and conservative approach to reopening the country.
While he refused to be drawn on an exact reopening date Martin confirmed that supports for the pubs and restaurant sector would continue for some time.
Speaking to the media, Mr Martin said: I dont right now have a date (to reopen) to be honest with you.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Image: JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY)
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I think we would have to have a critical mass of the population vaccinated.
Because if we have learned anything, the virus and hospitality are too compatible.
We have to acknowledge that and equally acknowledge that there are thousands and thousands of jobs dependent on (hospitality and tourism).
We will not be pulling the rug from any of those supports, there will be no cliff-edge in relation to the supports ranging from pandemic unemployment support to others.
“That is very important to state.
“We had 5.5bn prepared as a contingency fund for Covid-19 we did not anticipate that we would be using it so quickly or so extensively in the first number of months of this year but, as it transpired, we are.
“That is part of the response to Covid-19 and we discussed it at an economic Cabinet sub-committee last week.
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“In terms of hospitality, when we come out of Covid-19 and we will come out of it there will not be a magic day when you can say that is the end of Covid-19 and the beginning of a new era.
“We will evolve out of this we will get more comfortable and confident as we vaccinate the population,” Mr Martin said.
We are going to have to help the hospitality sector to reboot and restart.
“We will have to look at new initiatives to help the hospitality sector as it emerges from Covid-19 because it has suffered more than most.”