The pedetrianisation of Temple Bar and hospital-level sanitisation for pubs and restaurants are among planned measures to restart Dublin's hospitality industry.

It comes as economists warn that the tourism industry, which generated €2 billion for the capital last year, is facing a difficult future. The sector employs around 80,000 people in Dublin.

The Temple Bar Company, which represents companies in the popular tourist area, has been researching the situation in Asia and other parts of the world and is arranging for hospital sanitisation products to be used in pubs and restaurants as they reopen.

An air decontamination device usually found in hospital intensive care wards will be used in some Temple Bar restaurants and pubs.

Other hospital facilities, such as automatic door handle disinfectants and facial temperature check machines, are also being prepared for use.

Martin Harte, CEO of Temple Bar Company, said they are also looking for most streets to be pedestrianised after 11am, although access would be allowed for the area's car park.

He said pedestrianisation will allow local businesses to use part of the pavements so more customers can be catered for under social distancing rules.

While hospitality businesses are awaiting the two metre rule to be relaxed to one metre a lot of businesses in the area say there will not be any profit to be made this year.


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The owner of Blooms Hotel and the Oliver St John Gogarty pub, Martin Keane, says that although both premises would be allowed to operate their restaurants he will not be reopening on 29 June.

He said he is concentrating on getting his premises safe.

Another proprietor, Shiva Gautam -owner of Monty's of Katmandu - is going to reopen and plans to use air decontamination units and automatic door handle disinfectants.

However he does not believe the visitor numbers will recover this year which he says will be a "write off".

Meanwhile economist Tony Foley of DCU Business School said while other areas of the country are more dependent on tourism, Dublin's hospitality industry is by far the largest in the country generating €2 billion for the economy and employing around 80,000 people.

Dublin also has the country's number one visitor attraction, which is the Guinness Storehouse.

Mr Foley said the problems facing the industry are "mind boggling" with a recession combined with a collapse in tourism and public concern about the Covid-19 virus.

Mr Foley says the pub, restaurant and hotel trade will not see overseas visitor numbers recover even by the end of 2021.

Many upmarket establishments that have been bought or renovated through borrowing are going to face a difficult recovery, he added.