In what many will see as an alarming sign of things to come for the wider hospitality sector, TD’s and Senators have been informed that the Oireachtas Members Restaurant will now be closed to guests just five days after members received an email telling them it would be re-opening this week.
On Thursday last, Oireachtas members were told that access for the purpose of dining in the Members’ Restaurant and therefore access for Members’ guests would restart following “tremendous efforts in reconfiguring the layout of the venue” on foot of public health advice and the latest Fáilte Ireland guidelines.
However, any guests of Oireachtas Members who were due to visit the Leinster House based Restaurant will now have their visit cancelled.
An email to Members confirming the ‘Postponement of Reopening of Members’ Restaurant to Guests of Members’ the Houses of the Oireachtas Service, who manage the day-to-day operation of the Leinster House complex, noted that “It is with regret that we must inform you that the reopening of the Members’ Restaurant to guests has been postponed until after Christmas.”
The email further noted that “given the current surge in Covid-19 cases, the advice from NPHET regarding socialisation, we feel this is the most prudent approach to take at the current time, as the safety of everyone in the parliamentary community is of paramount importance. Any bookings already made by Members for guests will be cancelled.”
“We are disappointed to have to revise our plans, but we look forward to welcoming you, your guests, and colleagues to enjoy our hospitality when the public health situation improves.”
It is expected that the Houses of the Oireachtas service will review the situation after Christmas.