Bars, hotels and restaurants fear business could suffer over the summer if the government fails to retain Covid hospitality supports.

The Restaurant Association of Ireland is seeking the extension of legislation that allows alcohol be served in outdoor seating areas from licensed premises, similar to last summer.

RAI chief executive, Adrian Cummins said there is a demand from customers for an outdoor European-style culture in Ireland. "People liked it last year and people want more local authorities to embrace this, right across the country."

Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, could extend the law but the hospitality sector would like to see it on a more permanent footing.

"Parallel to that, businesses need to get a license to have tables and chairs outside," Mr Cummins said.

"Minister Darragh O'Brien has been very helpful to our industry in waiving the fees and we expect that will happen again for this year."

Mr Cummins said the association has been given assurances that fees will be waived.

Restaurants are busy preparing for the summer season, and Mr Cummins said businesses need to have their infrastructure in place so that they can continue with the recovery phase of hospitality.

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