Kingston Mills says "elephant in the room" of young people working in hospitality must be addressed before reopening 11 months ago

Kingston Mills says "elephant in the room" of young people working in hospitality must be addressed before reopening

Indoor dining may reopen this month for fully vaccinated groups and under-18s, however, it is unknown what this means for unvaccinated hospitality staff.

Professor of Experimental Immunology at Trinity College, Kingston Mills, has said that the "elephant in the room" of young people working in hospitality must be addressed before hospitality reopens in July.

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It looks as though indoor dining may reopen this month exclusively for fully vaccinated groups and under-18s, however, it is unknown what this means for unvaccinated hospitality staff.

Mills said that Ireland still needs to be cautious as the country prepares for the possible return of indoor hospitality from later this month.

He said that there is a need to address the “elephant in the room” of serving staff at restauraunts and bars who are very often young people who have yet to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations.

He added that there is every reason to be optimistic about the reopening and getting "back to normal" if "nearly all" people over 18 are vaccinated against Covid-19 by August.

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“I am more optimistic because I think that the vaccines are doing a great job,” he said.

“So I would be optimistic that hospitalisation won’t increase and I think undoubtedly we will see more cases and the numbers are creeping up, a significant number of those are mild or even asymptomatic cases”.

“If we manage to get everybody vaccinated and then we start on the younger, under 18 cohort, I think we can be back to normal”.