Hospitality businesses will be required to close at midnight as of Thursday 18th November, as the Government makes moves to try and curb the increase in COVID 19 cases.

The new restriction comes as hospitals face increasing pressure from the current spread of COVID 19.

The new move is only a few weeks after late night venues were allowed to reopen following 19 months of closure.

A number of other measures have been signed off by the cabinet, including a requirement for passes to be presented for entry to theatres and cinemas.

The Government is reintroducing its advice that people work primarily from home if possible.

As well, the Government is now asking anyone living in a household with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID 19 to restrict their movements for five days.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has called on the Government to immediately reintroduce COVID 19 supports for the late night sector and also develop practical longer term solutions for hospitality.

“This latest reimposition of restrictions casts significant doubt about the viability of the late night sector for as long as the pandemic persists. When will we be in a position to allow that sector to reopen and trade again? Will we have to go through this whole process again and again? What is to stop this cycle from repeating itself next year,” said Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA.

“What seems clear is that more nuanced, longer term, practical solutions are now needed.

“In the short term it is critical that the Government immediately outlines the reintroduction of the full level of supports for the people who will once again find themselves out of work and for the businesses who employ them,” said Mr. O’Keeffe.

VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben said: “Given the deteriorating health situation it’s no surprise Government is forced to take action but it is disappointing that the hospitality sector is at forefront of those actions. Supports will now be vital for impacted businesses and we’re calling for the immediate reintroduction of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) for members who have to close.”

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