A nightclub operator in Dublin has said he is devastated at the lack of certainty that has arisen again about re-opening plans for the industry next week due to rising Covid-19 rates.

Ian Redmond, who runs the Tramline nightclub in the city centre, said his business has been closed for 19 months, for a total of 581 days, since March 2020.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland he said a huge amount of work has gone into preparing to reopen next weekend, with rosters ready and staff in place.

"We are just devastated... the amount of work that has gone into this... I just want certainty and clarity from Government, we deserve this," he said.

He added that it is "just not fair" for the Government to leave it until Tuesday or Wednesday to decide on the easing of restrictions set for 22 October.

Yesterday Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin said she wants nightclubs to reopen next Friday.

Speaking at her departmental budget briefing, she also said it is unlikely that antigen testing will be used at that stage as the expert advisory group's report on such tests has not yet been received.

Mr Redmond said it does not work to put in ad hoc restrictions, or look to introduce antigen testing at this late stage.

He said Minister Martin "knows well we can only operate at 100%", but added that he is not opposed to using Covid vaccination certificates or temperature checks.

The people who want to go to nightclubs or party "by and large are fully vaccinated", he added.


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The head of the Restaurants Association of Ireland has called on the Government to engage with the sector as soon as possible.

Speaking on the same programme, Adrian Cummins said the sector is expecting that all restrictions for indoor hospitality will be removed next Friday.

He warned that the clock is ticking down and businesses have taken bookings in anticipation of eased restrictions.

Mr Cummins said the Covid pass allows businesses to trade safely and the sector would be happy to continue asking for the passports if it meant that full trading could resume.

He also pointed out that staff have been rostered from Friday week onward, many of whom will be coming off the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, and if businesses cannot open past 11.30pm this means that some people may be left in a position whereby they cannot get back on the pandemic payment.

"We are in a phase now where we need to get this right, we need to make sure we protect the health of the nation, first of all, but we also need to engage with businesses around how they operationalise their business over the next number of weeks ahead," he said.

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Fine Gael senator Garret Ahearn has called for the Digital Covid Certificate to continue to be used in the hospitality industry until the end of the year.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, he said he believes the cert can "solve a lot of our problems" over the next few months.

He said it has worked "extremely well" and both people who use the pass and businesses have found it "very easy to use".

"No one in the industry and no one in Government and no one in the country wants to go backwards", Senator Ahearn said.

"I think this is something that if we continue means it prevents the possibility of going backwards. I think that's really important for the industry.

"I think it should continue until the end of the year. I think we should go over Christmas, go past Christmas and have Covid Certs right until the end of the year."

Speaking on the same programme, the Chief Executive of the Licensed Vintners Association, Donal O'Keeffe, said his members were "sold this as a temporary measure".

He said it is very expensive to implement, but it has worked and could be continued if necessary.

"If that's required to stay open, then absolutely, we will continue to work with it."