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Hospitality representatives to meet government ministers today amid anger over delayed reopening

The industry has reacted furiously to the postponed return of indoor dining.

REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE hospitality industry are set to meet government ministers today amid an outpouring of anger at yesterday’s announcement that the reopening of indoor dining and drinking would be delayed.

The Hospitality Forum will meet Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin today for a long scheduled quarterly meeting.

The forum includes representatives from hotel, restaurant, publican and tourism groups. It was established last October in recognition of the devastating impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the sector.

Today’s meeting will be the first opportunity for hospitality representatives to directly engage with the government, since the Cabinet yesterday agreed to halt Ireland’s reopening for an unknown length of time.

The Cabinet also agreed to restrict indoor hospitality to vaccinated people.

The decisions have provoked a furious reaction from the industry, as well as from opposition (and some government) politicians.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the government will provide additional supports for the hospitality sector in the coming weeks.

He added that it’s hoped that a plan for reopening can be agreed by 19 July, when international travel reopens, and the government would be urgently engaging with stakeholders to develop a workable vaccine pass system.

The concept has been branded discriminatory, unenforceable, unacceptable and “bananas” by hospitality representatives and opposition politicians.

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