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Martin Browne

Published 1 year ago 16th July 2021 by Editor

Indoor dining legislation discriminatory and unworkable

Tipperary TD Martin Brown who addressed the Dáil on the Bill on indoor dining has said that Sinn Féin wants indoor dining legislation to be inclusive rather than having the effect of excluding many. Teachta Browne said: “I want the hospitality sector opened as quickly and as safely as possible and for everyone.

But a plan that excludes, divides, or leaves some behind is unfair. Its discriminatory nature could well prove it to be unworkable as well. Sinn Féin has pointed out that the Government will also not allow for RT-PCR or antigen test results to be used despite the fact these could work for all ages. We need a plan that builds in all mitigating factors such as PCR/Antigen testing, ventilation and air filtration solutions as well as social distancing and infection control, all in combination with the revised vaccine rollout. But instead we get a divisive approach from the government. An onus is also being thrust on proprietors to deal with this level of discrimination which could well result in argument or worse. I am also unhappy with the lack of detail on enforcement and how these proposals will work in practical terms, given the inconsistency involved.

Hospitality staff who have not yet been offered a vaccine don’t get an exemption to eat indoors, but there is an exemption for them to work indoors. The mixed messages and confusion from Government has been compounded by the chaotic explanations on how those with a previous infection with and recovery from Covid-19 will be certified. I could not support a Bill that has so many failings and is so discriminatory.”

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