After Ireland was announced as having the highest COVID infection rate in the world last week, experts believe that restaurants might remain closed until May.
The number of COVID-19 cases have been dangerously rising in Ireland over the passed few weeks and now medical experts and members of the public believe that things will not go back to normal until at least sometime around May.
No predictions can be accurate at this time
After having been asked on Ireland AM radio if he thought the month of May would a be a realistic time for lockdown measures to be lifted, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that:
If we've learned anything, we know that the virus evolves and changes. So, I think we can't make predictions that far out. It will be well into next month before the majority of Covid restrictions are relaxed.
Ireland [is] nowhere near where it needs to be at present if its restrictions were to be scaled back.
Restaurants to bleed out
As a result, many are now saying that the service industry, like in many other places in the world right now, is on the verge of collapsing without ever being able to fully recover. A very high percentage of restaurants might not even be able to survive the lockdown.
Chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins, explained how Irish restaurants might soon be relegated to the financial state of start-ups forcing them to become dependant of debt relief from the government:
By then most businesses will be closed for so long they will have a huge amount of legacy debt. Business supports are good but don't cover all the debt and the bills. What we are looking for is debt forgiveness.
Talks about reopening schools, bars and restaurants in Britain have also been targeting post Easter holidays as a more realistic point in time for when things could back to normal. Cheif Medical Officer, Dr. Tony Holohan emphasized the importance of remaining compliant with the COVID-19 rules by saying that:
The number of cases and deaths that we are reporting today and the persisting high incidence rate of Covid-19 across the country shows that we cannot underestimate the highly infectious nature of this disease and the impact that it can have on families and communities.