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Ireland
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Micheál Martin responds to criticism over pub and nightclub restrictions

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has responded to criticism that was aimed towards the government’s perplexing plan for the hospitality sector in regards to how they should implement Covid-19 rules when they open on Friday.

Martin called on people to have a “sense of perspective” while stating that “It’s not and it certainly wasn’t a slap in the face to the sector, to any sector.”

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From Friday, the 11:30pm curfew will no longer be enforced, however, table service only has to resume with ten adults allowed per table or 15 children.

Social distancing will remain to prevent customers from drinking at the bar.

For nightclubs, people will be allowed to enter the dancefloor but mask-wearing should be encouraged where possible.

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Chief Executive Officer at Vintner’s Federation of Ireland, criticised the government for allowing dancing at nightclubs while pub customers are not allowed to drink at the bar.

The plans for reopening nightclubs were described as “unworkable” by Labour leader Alan Kelly.

The Taoiseach responded to the lack of clarity by stating, “To be honest my main concern is to protect public health and to protect people’s safety and lives and we need to get a sense of perspective in the debate.”

He added that at the different stages that the country reopened, he’s heard the same assertions about the lack of clarity.

Denying remarks that the plan was a “slap in the face” for business owners who have been shut down for the past 19 months, Martin stated, “I find it difficult to comprehend genuinely how saying that my concern to save lives and save public health is a slap in the face to anybody.”

Martin added that it was “just a statement of fact”.

IMAGE – Pxfuel/”File:Dáil Éireann – Election of Taoiseach – 27 June 2020 (50051632532).jpg” by Houses of the Oireachtas from Ireland is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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