Business groups largely welcome Govt reopening plan
Business groups have largely welcomed the latest Government plan for the reopening of the economy, which will see sectors reopen on a phased basis from 10 May.
On that date, hairdressers will reopen.
The Irish Hairdressers Federation welcomed the news, saying their focus is now on reopening the sector safely and responsibly on 10 May.
“We have extensive health & safety guidelines in place, and we will be working with staff to ensure they are ready for reopening,” it said in a statement.
The Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation also welcomed the news, saying the long wait is over for businesses and their customers.
“We can now recommence to provide the essential personal care services we carry out in every town and village across Ireland,” said Margaret O’Rourke Doherty, CEO, HABIC.
Click and collect
Also on 10 May, click and collect retail service will resume for non-essential retailers.
Digital Business Ireland, the online business representative body welcomed the news.
It said click and collect services are a “vital part” of the digital economy, allowing retailers to make digital sales without the expense associated with setting up deliveries, costs that many may not be able to bear in these difficult times.
Visitor attractions, including indoor attractions, are set to reopen to the public from 10 May.
The Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions said the move is another welcome step for the sector.
“Our members have made significant investment to ensure the safety of staff and visitors, including the operation of online booking systems, the professional management of people flow, full contact tracing systems and the provision of hand sanitising stations throughout venues,” the statement said.
On 17 May all shops will be able to reopen.
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector welcomed the news, saying the sector is looking forward to reopening and staying open.
Arnold Dillon, Director of Retail Ireland said the announcement has been a long time coming.
“The last few months have been incredibly stressful for retail businesses and their staff.
“We now have a clear roadmap and can plan ahead with confidence,” Mr Dillon said.
Hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and self-catering accommodation can open again on 2 June, subject to the public health situation at the time.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One, President of the Irish Hotels Federation, Elaina Fitzgerald Kane welcomed the news, however she said more detail is needed.
She said that hotels catering for international travel need longer lead in times and this needs to be considered.
Ms Fitzgerald Kane also called for more certainty about supports for the industry.
Outdoor hospitality, including restaurants and all pubs will open on 7 June.
However, the Restaurants Association of Ireland has said there is “confusion and frustration” regarding the Government’s decision to allow hotel and guesthouse restaurants to provide indoor dining for residents from 2 June.
Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the RAI said the decision to divide hotel restaurants and independent restaurants into two categories is “anti-competitive.”
“This also prohibits independent restaurant owners from functioning viably over the summertime and in fact prohibits the re-employment of around 110,000 workers,” he said in a statement.
Outdoor pub service
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland welcomed the news that pubs can reopen for outdoor trading from 7 June.
It said the move is an important and welcome first step, but called on the Government to ensure indoor trading can resume as soon as possible.
“The fact hotels can reopen indoors from early June demonstrates that it’s safe to resume hospitality, with appropriate social distancing, in such venues,” said VFI Chief Executiv Padraig Cribben.
‘It would be wholly unfair to allow hotels trade indoors but prohibit pubs and restaurants from doing so,” he said.