Ibec calls for medical evidence to support move to Level Five restrictions



Businesses are calling on the Government to publish the medical evidence to justify a move to Level Five Covid-19 restrictions.

Following an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the rapid spike in the daily number of confirmed cases, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended the entire country moves to the highest level of restrictions in the Government’s Living with Covid Plan.

Under Level Five, all but essential retail stores would close, with workers in all bar essential service role having to work remotely. Cafes, bars and restaurants would also only be permitted to provide takeaway services and travel would be limited to within 5km of your home for exercise.

However, Ibec says after six months people are still getting vague and changing criteria in the fight against the spread of the virus.

It comes as the group is predicting a smaller than expected decline of just 2.6 per cent in the Irish economy next year.

Ibec is calling for a cut in the VAT rate to 9 per cent in next week’s Budget to try and prop up hospitality businesses.

The business lobby group’s chief economist Ger Brady says the pandemic has created two completely different economies.

“A number of sectors, particularly the hospitality and travel sector have done really poorly and paid for the significant economic hit on the back of public health measures.

“Other sectors, particularly the exports sectors, are proving really resilient, so over all you are seeing what we are calling a K-shaped recovery where there is a growing gap between different companies and different sets of workers depending on how exposed you are to the public health measures.”


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