"Nine out of 10 restaurants face permanent closure," say Restaurants Association 2 years ago

"Nine out of 10 restaurants face permanent closure," say Restaurants Association

Almost all Irish restaurants are facing closure.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has called on the government to implement "supports" in order to protect the sector from the economic consequences of Covid-19.

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As things stand, 90% of restaurants in the country are closed and 120,000 jobs are at risk, according to the RAI. The organisation, which represents over 3,000 restaurants, gastropubs, cafés and eateries, has said that restaurants will not be able to reopen without additional "supports" from the government.

Restaurants and pubs have been forcibly closed by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, and can only operate in a takeaway capacity. As things stand, there is no date set for when such businesses will be able to reopen, or to what extent.

On Monday morning, the association published a nine-point plan to ease pressure on the sector, including measures such as a 0% VAT Rate for the sector for a period of crisis and 12 months thereafter, as well as a removal of all banking fees for hospitality businesses.

The body has also called on the government to waive licences for outdoor tables and chairs for one year to enable businesses to reopen and adapt to social distancing using outdoor spaces.

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Also among the measures are wage supports, a ban on utilities cutting off services and demanding payments while businesses are closed, and insurance pay-outs under appropriate clauses.

Speaking today, Restaurants Association of Ireland CEO, Adrian Cummins said: "We are seeking urgent action to save and recover our industry as nine out of 10 restaurants face permanent closure in the months ahead without urgent action."

Cummins noted that the plan was now "on the desks" of the relevant government ministers.