Caroline Hoffman, Laois Chamber CEO.
Laois Chamber of Commerce CEO has praised local business on meeting the Covid-19 challenge in a welcome for the lifting most of the Covid-19 restrictions in which Government was reminded that business must continue to be supported in the recovery phase.
The changes include a resumption of normal trading hours for pubs, restaurants and nightclubs, the removal of capacity restrictions, and removing the requirement for Covid-19 passes and contact tracing details.
Laois Chamber CEO, Caroline Hofman, spoke following Friday’s announcement by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
“Following nearly two years of restrictions, we welcome the announcement by An Taoiseach on Friday removing the majority of Covid restrictions. This re-opening of society is extremely positive, with the past two years being an extremely challenging time for so many of our members and businesses throughout the county. Businesses in Laois also had the additional challenge of a regional lockdown in August 2020 to contend with.
“I would like to commend the resilience and adaptability of our members and businesses in the county as they navigated through the challenges of Covid-19 and Government restrictions. The recent announcement lifting the restrictions is of particular relief to the hospitality, arts and live entertainment sectors who have been most impacted throughout the pandemic.”
“Whilst the drop in ICU and hospital numbers, as well as a drop in case numbers, has signalled an end to the restrictions, we must not be complacent, with continued mask wearing and hand washing being crucial to continue reducing the number of cases and to protect ourselves and those around us. We would hope that 2022 continues in a positive trajectory as we emerge from the pandemic.
The ever innovated Walsh Kemmis family at Ballykilcavan farm and brewery near Stradbally have put the finishing touches on their new visitor centre. Watch drone footage below and some of the brewing in action.
“Despite the lifting of restrictions and a return to normality, it is important that Government continues to support businesses in the most vulnerable sectors that have been most impacted as a result of the pandemic. We cannot be in a position where these businesses face a cliff edge situation,” she said.
Ms Hoffman reminded businesses that certain public health measures will continue to be in place, including rules on self-isolation and close contacts, which are to be reviewed again before the end of February.
She said the Digital Covid Certificates for international travel will still be required for those travelling from Ireland. Mask wearing rules will also continue on public transport and other settings. These rules will be reviewed on the 28 February.
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