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02 Dec 2021

Hospitality industry experiencing nervousness from the public over rising Covid-19 rates

Bookings cancelled amid rising number of cases  

Hospitality industry experiencing nervousness from the public over rising Covid-19 rates

The nervousness amongst the public about the rising incidence of Covid-19 is already impacting the hospitality industry, publicans and restaurateurs in the county say.

The rising level of the disease has led to calls from public health officials and doctors for people to reduce their socialising.

Mairéad Anderson from Anderson’s Boathouse restaurant in Killybegs said the nervousness is already impacting Christmas trade.

The award-winning restaurant has already had one large corporate booking for a Christmas party cancelled.

“I completely understand it,” Ms Anderson said. “These are large companies which are coming in with their staff around Christmas time and now they have cancelled as that is jeopardising their business if everyone gets together,” she said. She said there is nervousness due to the level of  Covid-19 in the community. “Covid is absolutely rife where we are at the minute.”

The restaurant is closed until next month but the business “needs a good, strong busy Christmas”. 

“I just can’t see it happening now,” she added. She said a “short-sharp” lockdown in November would help save Christmas business for the hospitality sector.

The restaurant is heavily booked for December but she is concerned as restaurants around the country have been experiencing Christmas cancellations.

More businesses have become Covid compliant in terms of checking vaccination certificates, she added.

She said businesses are “quiet and worried” about the situation.

 “We are being told we can be open but people shouldn’t go out right now. What is the point of being open if people are being told not to go out? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Pubs

Alice Lynch, chair of the Donegal branch of the  Vintners' Federation of Ireland, said the situation is “very uncertain”.

The owner of Maggie's Tavern in St Johnson said she had one booking for a family event postponed in recent days and planning for the weeks ahead has become difficult.

“It is very difficult to have any kind of family event,” she said. 

“Across the board there is uncertainty. You know Christmas is coming and you are trying to prepare, but you are thinking ‘what is going to happen?’ There is uncertainty. The [case] numbers are rising and you don’t know what to expect.”

READ MORE: Covid-19 testing appointments available in Donegal but referral slots full in Sligo

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