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One Dublin restaurant has weighed in on current restrictions, saying that a return to indoor dining is what's needed to help the food and beverage industry stay afloat.
Three days into level five restrictions, businesses across Ireland have been forced to revert to takeaway/click and collect services only - with many having to close due to the financial strain of operating under such stringent guidelines.
Already looking ahead to when the situation will be re-evaluated in four weeks' time, restaurateurs are adamant that a return to indoor dining is the only way that the industry has a chance of surviving.
Speaking to Lovin about the current restrictions, co-founder of the Kinara Group - Ireland's leading award-winning Pakistani restaurants - said the following:
"We need personal choice under strong and safe guidelines with consequences for those not adhering as opposed to the all or nothing approach currently being taken. Surely we are better to provide structured environments in which to socialise?"
Later detailing how they plan to operate over the next few weeks, he added:
"In the short term, Kinara Group will operate under government guidelines and offer food collection only. Our staff want to get back to work and ideally, we want the trade to be able to pay them without Government supports and to that end, if people are compliant with the Level 5 we have the potential to reopen in December.
"Long term I believe the government needs to formulate a plan that allows restaurants to reopen indoors even with strict guidelines that can be enforced and regulated for compliance. Otherwise, we will enter a rollercoaster scenario of open and closed which will not work from a viability perspective for any restaurant in Ireland."
A statement shared by Adrian Cummins - CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland - last night claims that "there is every reason to put forward a case for indoor dining in December subject to a reduction in cases".
🔴Considering Restaurants are controlled environments, subject to penalties in breach of regulations and have adapted the @Failte_Ireland Covid safety charter- there is every reason to put forward a case for indoor dining in December subject to a reduction in cases
— Adrian Cummins 🇮🇪🇪🇺 (@adriancummins) October 23, 2020
Scheduled to last six weeks, current restrictions will be reviewed after four weeks' time with businesses calling for greater clarity on what will be expected of them come December time.