Events industry calls for 1 September "full capacity" reopening date amid meeting with Government 2 months ago

Events industry calls for 1 September "full capacity" reopening date amid meeting with Government

"We are deeply disappointed that there still is no confirmed reopening date."

The events industry are calling for a 1 September "full capacity" reopening date after meeting with Government on Wednesday.

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The Event Industry Alliance (EIA) met with Minister Catherine Martin and her department on Wednesday following a campaign for engagement with all key stakeholders within the sector.

The EIA which is made up of a number of entertainment, arts and events groups throughout Ireland said following the meeting that while they "acknowledged the fact that the Minister Catherine Martin took the time to meet with our industry representatives" they were "disappointed" at the result.

"We were disappointed that An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, or Minister Stephen Donnelly did not attend today’s meeting," the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

"While we also acknowledge that representatives from the ministers’ departments did attend, this was the first time this has happened."

They added that the sector "requires a whole cross Government approach to ensure that the severity of the situation that the Industry now finds itself in is fully appreciated."

"In addition, we are very concerned that after 17 months of closure each group had just a two to three minute opportunity to make a contribution towards the proposed reopening roadmap," the statement added.

"This does not amount to constructive engagement but we do hope that this is a start."

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The EIA added that they reiterated their hopes for a 1 September full capacity reopening with enhanced safety measures for both indoor and outdoor events during the meeting.

The industry also called for the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) to remain in place until June 2022 as well as weekly review meeting with Minister Martin and a “whole of government approach”.

"We are deeply disappointed that there still is no confirmed reopening date, despite being mandated to close for 17 months, and ongoing requests for meaningful engagement with all sectors within our industry," the EIA added.

"There is an urgent and obvious requirement for cross department collaboration to ensure a strong aligned reopening. There is also an obvious collaboration with the Department of Health required.

"We again call for an urgent meeting with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister Eamon Ryan, Minister Stephen Donnelly and the Cabinet Sub Committee on Covid-19 to urgently engage with our sector."

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Following the meeting with the industry on Wednesday, Catherine Martin asked during a Cabinet meeting to be added to the high-level Cabinet Sub Committee on Covid-19 due to concerns that the worries of the sector were not being taken seriously by Government.