The Dublin city centre business group, DublinTown, has expressed concern over the renewed Covid-19 restrictions announced by the Government yesterday, including a call to avoid public transport where possible.
DublinTown, which represents 2,500 businesses, said that before the outbreak of Covid-19 two-thirds of people travelling to the city to shop or socialise used public transport to do so.
It said the public are now being advised not to use public transport, which implies a direct link between public transport and public health.
City footfall is struggling and this announcement is likely to depress it further, DublinTown said.
"The city's business community would like to know to what extent has a link between public transport use and the spread of the virus been established, particularly given the widespread compliance with the wearing of face masks on public transport," it said in a statement.
It also said the return of office workers is of vital importance to the city centre's economy.
"Office workers are the bedrock of custom for retail and hospitality businesses. These workers are the ones who buy coffees and lunches, shop on their breaks and engage with the city's hair and beauty offerings," DublinTown said.
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"Without the return of office workers, and with the public being discouraged from using public transport, recovery from the Covid-19 lockdown will be made even more challenging for businesses, across all consumer facing sectors," commented Richard Guiney CEO of DublinTown.
"Many businesses in Dublin city are considering permanent closure. For some this decision will be made in September, for others it will be deferred to December. The imposition of further restrictions and enhanced uncertainty regarding the future may hasten this decision," Mr Guiney added.