Pubs To Stay Closed!
Pubs and retail will be taking another massive hit this Winter with closures for at least the next 6 weeks if not much longer.
Christmas shopping could be cancelled without a dramatic drop in the spread of Covid before December.
The doomsday prospect was delivered to a stunned group of up to a dozen business leaders by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar during a dramatic conference call last night.
He is said to have given them “a dose of reality” that some weren’t expecting.
Mr Varadkar let them know that retail, restaurants and bars are facing continued restrictions in December if we don’t get the R number below 0.7 - which industry sources at the meeting last night said is “impossible.”
And the shutters could remain down completely if the number doesn’t come down below 1.0.
The Minister for Business also laid the ground for lockdown continuing through January, although he was reluctant to call it.
The 'blunt' messages were conveyed by Mr Varadkar in a late night group call from 10:30pm to 11:35pm last night after he had finished his lockdown press conference.
Business leaders present included reps from the country’s two pub lobbies, hoteliers, the restaurant trade, Tom Parlon of the CIF and Union leader Patricia King of Congress.
The industry reps left the call under no illusions that hospitality is finished for the year.
One participant told Dublin Live: “The mood leaving the meeting was that hospitality is finished for 2020, you just have to join the dots.”
They said that Mr Varadkar was 'honest' in his appraisal as he acknowledged that it would be “very difficult” for the hospitality sector in particular to operate with 15 customers “out in the cold” during winter.
Another said that retail reps were particularly shocked when they were told that they too can’t reopen unless the numbers come tumbling down.
The lobbyist said the retailers were 'sombre' when they were told the way it is, while the hospitality people “felt it coming.”
The R number currently hovers at around 1.8 in many areas.
The news comes after NPHET's Professor Philip Nolan said Ireland can have less than 200 cases per day by early December if everyone plays their part.