“The Plan”: Irish businesses to open from June 2nd in defiance of lockdown

An initiative called “The Plan” will see businesses that are still closed open their doors from June 2nd, as café, pub and restaurant owners in particular become increasingly concerned about the future of their livelihoods.

Led by Kerry chef Paul Treyvaud, “The Plan” was trending on Twitter yesterday as thousands of people become aware of the attempt to salvage what is left of these businesses after months of lockdown.

Former Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan was among other notable figures throwing his weight behind the campaign as momentum builds among owners.

Flanagan tweeted that the plan “makes sense”, is “carefully thought out and will of course have full regard to public health.”

He said it is “incongruous and unfair to treat hotel dining room[s] differently to restaurant dining room [s]”, criticising the fact hotels can have indoor dining for residents from June 2nd, whilst restaurants can only have outdoor dining from June 7th.

Treyvaud, who had a cooking show on Virgin Media, said he has been blown away by the support of pubs, cafés and restaurants backing his plan.

“The difference between success and failure is action,” Treyvaud told his social media followers.

“The hospitality industry is going to be absolutely decimated under the current plan of the government, which is pretty much zero as we speak.

“As of today, we have no idea when restaurants, bars, cafés and sandwich shops can open up and serve indoors. None.”

Treyvaud said there are several factors, including staff shortages, that will mean businesses like his are at an unfair disadvantage compared to hotels.

“Whilst we very much welcome the re-opening of certain sectors within the tourism and hospitality industry…any bar, restaurant or café knows that they have lost most of their staff to hotels.

“We can’t give them (staff) a day as to when they can start, so we’re losing all our staff.”

Treyvaud had announced in February that he would break any restrictions on July 1 in favour of opening his business to the public, giving the government “4 months to sort out everything” in relation to suppressing the virus.

The businessman, who has brought forward that plan because hotels are being allowed to open, was scathing in his criticism of the government’s handling of Covid-19, pointing the finger at open-borders for those coming from Covid hotspots.

He told Twitter that he is “prepared to be arrested if need be”, adding, “I no longer care.”

“I’ve no intention of losing everything I’ve worked my life for because these idiots can’t close airports, ports or agree on borders.

“I’m so angry, annoyed and have lost all hope with the people running the show,” he wrote.

A separate legal challenge by a group of restaurateurs is also being launched against the government’s preference for only allowing hotels to have indoor dining for residents, claiming the move amounts to economic discrimination.

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