Chambers Ireland has called on the Government to provide certainty to businesses now facing a further delay to their reopening, as to when they can re-open.

Indoor dining was set to resume on 5 July, yet a rise in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 has led to this postponement.

Chambers Ireland said the Government needs to provide clear timelines, certainty on supports and the principles guiding Government decision-making.

Ian Talbot, Chief executive said that employers understand that there is a balance to be struck between public and economic health and have been committed to maintaining this balance.

"However, there is also an expectation among impacted businesses that certainty on timelines, financial supports and the rationale for a further delay will be clearly communicated," he said.

"Businesses across Ireland have made significant investments in hiring staff, preparing a safe environment and purchasing stock in anticipation of the next phase of reopening. In such a fluid situation, timely provision of information is key," he added.

Retail Excellence, which represents the retail industry, has said that the Government's decision to postpone the reopening of indoor dining was a "hammer-blow" for the hospitality sector.

The body which also represents over 300 cafes and coffee-shops, said the decision would have a significant knock-on effect for the retail industry in Ireland and that it was "extremely unhelpful" that the Government had not given a timeframe for the delay.

It also said that it remained to be seen how a Government plan to allow indoor dining for fully vaccinated people would work.

Meanwhile, business group Ibec has said that businesses in the experience economy remain hugely disappointed with the outcome of today's Government decision.

Sharon Higgins, Ibec Director of Membership and Sectors, said that businesses in the hospitality, retail, travel, food, drink, tourism and entertainment sectors have "borne the brunt" of the economic impact of Covid-19.

"Today's decision adds further pressure to an already struggling sector ahead of peak holiday season in Ireland.

"While the health consequences are an important dimension, so too are the livelihoods of those driving Ireland’s experience economy," she said.

Ms Higgins said that many businesses are concerned about the feasibility of an indoor dining system that would separate vaccinated and non-vaccinated people.

"It is imperative now that business plays a central role in its development," she said.

Many sectors will collapse following today's decision - IALPA

The Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA) has warned that many sectors of the Irish economy will collapse following today's decision by Government.

IALPA Vice President, Capt. Alan Brereton, said that with the delay on the reopening of indoor dining and pub service now stretching past the peak summer months, many businesses will be forced to close.

"The decision of the Irish government today to blindly follow the advice of NPHET is evidence of regulatory capture," Capt. Brereton said.

"Coupled with the delayed piecemeal implementation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate, many businesses dependent on aviation and tourism in Ireland will have no choice but to shut down," he added.

With inbound tourism representing 75% of the industry here, Capt. Brereton said that Irish Aviation will be on the verge of collapse.

'Time for clarity and ambition from Government'

Drinks Ireland has called for a definite date to open up indoor hospitality and a "clear and ambitious" plan from Government to ensure the sector stays open.

It said that today's decision has cemented Ireland's position as an "outlier" in Europe with regards indoors hospitality.

It said that from 2 July, when Greece opens indoor hospitality, the UK and all other EU countries will allow dining and drinking inside venues with measures in place.

According to Drinks Ireland, the idea of using Covid Certificates for vaccinated people, or people who have recovered from the infection, is a "last minute moving of the goalposts".

LVA rejects move to separate vaccinated from non-vaccinated

The Licensed Vintners Association said it will reject any move to separate out the vaccinated from the non-vaccinated, saying the suggestion was ridiculous and unworkable.

"It is completely bizarre that they would introduce such a system this late and basically try to panic the entire country into accepting a process that would create a two tier society," Donall O'Keeffe, chief executive of the LVA, said.

"Given NPHET's track record, we have no confidence they will recommend the reopening of hospitality this summer. By 19 July there will be well over 4.5 million vaccines delivered and that should permit hospitality to reopen indoors," he said.

"The Government must take charge now and commit to our reopening on 19 July," Mr O'Keeffe concluded.

Restaurant owners devastated by re-opening of indoor dining delay

Meanwhile, the CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland has said businesses across the country will be devastated by the news of the delay to the resumption of indoor hospitality.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Adrian Cummins said the plan to allow fully vaccinated people dine indoors is "discriminatory and unworkable".

He said the RAI has investigated other jurisdictions, including Denmark and Israel, where similar plans were unsuccessful.

Mr Cummins added that there are also legal questions about the discriminatory nature of the plans under the Equal Status Act.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

He said the hospitality has been knocked back a number of times and now does not know when it will be allowed to fully reopen.

"The summer is now lost for thousands and thousands of businesses across the State - there is no end in sight," he said.

Mr Cummins also called on the Government to fast track the vaccination of hospitality workers, saying this must be done in order for the latest proposals to work.

VFI warns of anger among pub owners

The chief executive of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) Padraig Cribben said that the next eight weeks are critical for the hospitality sector and called on the Government to take control of a balanced decision on reopening indoor dining.

Also speaking on Morning Ireland, Mr Cribben said that there is huge anger across the sector that the 5 July reopening of indoor dining would be delayed.

He said "what we are seeing here is what I would term a NPHET variant, which is being facilitated by a government that is either incapable or unwilling to do what it is elected to do and take balanced decisions".

He said that the Government should not "abdicate its responsibility to NPHET" saying the proposals suggested are based on no independent medical analysis of the advice.

He said plan to allow only vaccinated people to use indoor dining and pubs would lead to "increased stress, anxiety and cost for a sector that is already on its knees".

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

He said it would be "very difficult to see how it would work" asking whether NPHET is saying it is OK to go in [to premises] with young staff who are not vaccinated?

Mr Cribben said the area of discrimination would need to be addressed as well as dealing with people who refuse to wear a mask.

He said Ireland would be an outlier in Europe and it is "crazy" that people can travel abroad to holiday but not dine indoors in Ireland.