Paul Murphy says "rushed" indoor dining reopening is a "reckless mistake" as Cabinet signs off on legislation 11 months ago

Paul Murphy says "rushed" indoor dining reopening is a "reckless mistake" as Cabinet signs off on legislation

“The Government is rushing into this. We know it’s not a safe time now.”

Paul Murphy has described the government's plan for the reopening of indoor dining as "rushed" and a "reckless mistake" as Cabinet signed off on legislation to reopen hospitality to fully vaccinated people on Monday.

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The People Before Profit TD said that the plan to reopen the indoor hospitality sector for those who are fully vaccinated, accompanying under 18s and those who have recently recovered from the virus, was at the "behest" of a private business lobby.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland on Tuesday, Murphy said that it was "not a safe time" for the sector to reopen.

“The Government is rushing into this. We know it’s not a safe time now," he said.

Murphy added that the reopening could lead to cases in the country increasing from 600 a day currently to 3,000 per day, which could lead to more strict lockdowns.

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He said that it would be safer to wait for herd immunity or at least until September or October, when everyone who wants a Covid-19 vaccine has been offered the jab.

The TD said that while he understands the difficulties currently being faced by the hospitality sector, there are "zero laws" about ventilation at indoor dining facilities, adding that outside is much safer.

Leo Varadkar confirmed on Monday that Cabinet has officially signed off on indoor dining legislation.

The government is now aiming to have the legislation passed by the Dáil and Seanad this week.

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The reopening plan comes after days of talks between the hospitality sector and government officials about ways to safely reopen the industry indoors.

Under the legislation, people who have received both Covid-19 vaccines and people who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months can both dine indoors.

People aged under 18 can also dine indoors with a fully vaccinated person accompanying them.