Labour leader Alan Kelly describes new pub guidelines as “completely and utterly bonkers”
Safe to say the announcement of the new measures hasn’t gone down well…
Labour leader Alan Kelly has labelled new guidelines for pubs and restaurants in Ireland as “completely and utterly bonkers” after they were brought into law with immediate effect on Thursday night.
Official updated Fáilte Ireland guidelines includes the following requirement for pubs with food service:
“Businesses and services where intoxicating liquor is sold or supplied for consumption on the premises must keep a record of the time and date of arrival at the premises of a group/sole customer and the name and telephone number of the lead person in a group/sole customer for Covid-19 contact tracing.
“These businesses and services must also keep a record of the substantial meals ordered. Food and beverages must be consumed at a table. Details must be securely retained for 28 days.”
Commenting on the guidelines on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One on Friday, Kelly described them as “completely and utterly bonkers” and called for them to be reversed.
"When did eating food became linked to public health measures?" Kelly said.
"I worry about this Cabinet thinking going forward and we need a government that maintains public confidence."
“There has to be a balance here," Kelly added.
“People need to know that they go out, have something to eat, that they don’t have to worry about these sorts of things, that those who are hard working inside in the pubs and restaurants that are doing food… the level of potential oversight, concern and worry, this is too draconian, it’s just not acceptable.
“And really, the government, if they want to keep the public on side, they’re really going to have to look at this.”
On the same programme, Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), criticised the lack of communication with the restaurant industry ahead of the introduction of the guidelines, saying that they "came out of the blue".
"This should have been communicated after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday when it was signed off,” Cummins said.
On Thursday night, the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) described the guidelines as "bureaucracy gone mad”.
“This is crazy stuff," added Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive.