There has been no shortage of wailing and wringing of hands by representatives of the hospitality sector. Their sense of despair is understandable as they will feel the brunt of the latest restrictions.
However, when it comes to apportioning blame, they should look at some of their own associates. I am not talking about the ones who were diligent in getting vaccinated and wearing masks. The problem rests with the businesses that did not ask customers for Covid certs. Equally, those who did not enforce mask-wearing where appropriate have only themselves to blame.
As the number of daily Covid cases began to rise, and with it the threat of further restrictions, I noticed a marked increase in the checking of certs, but this came too late to stave off the latest restrictions.
The Government also needs to be called out. Incredibly, despite all the evidence, it has taken it 18 months to realise antigen tests should be used.
The best weapon for controlling this disease comes down to one word: intelligence. There appears to be a distinct lack of it going around these days.
Kingswood Heights, Dublin 24
Last May 8, Prof Philip Nolan likened antigen tests to “snake oil”. This was consistent with the National Public Health Emergency Team’s (Nphet) controversial dismissal of the health measure.
Recent reportage in the Irish Independent and elsewhere with regard to Nphet’s newfound recommended use of antigen testing makes no mention of the stark volte-face. I believe this does the already-confused public a disservice.
Knocklyon, Dublin 16
Tom Gilsenan’s letter about his poor friend (‘It’s the age-old problem of the hard-working man’, Letters, November 17) reminded me of a young man who once went to see a fortune teller.
He was told he would be poor until he was 40. “And then what?” he asked.
“And then you will get used to it,” came the reply.
Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Tim Buckley is correct on the topic of recruitment (‘Employers should ask more from themselves when hiring’, Letters, November 15).
Employers and their businesses are only as successful as the talent and commitment of the people they employ. Sadly, so many paymasters treat their job offers as a gift. Many of them want to get maximum return for the least possible outlay. The service industry is a prime example.
At last, job-seekers are seeing the light. Decent working conditions and decent pay could see a tenfold return for the Scrooge employers who duck and dive and think they are smart.
Sure, employees will turn up, do their bit and collect their few bob, but they will not go the extra mile for their employer. Why is this? Because they are not fools.
Ennistymon, Co Clare
Since mid-summer, there has been evidence in Israel (and, to a lesser extent, in Britain) that the vaccine was losing effect. It was clear a booster would be necessary around six months after the second jab.
Why did the Irish Government and Nphet fail to act on the available evidence? Quite an oversight, and now we see the result.
Firhouse, Dublin 24
The reasoning behind the Government’s refusal to restore the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to its top value does not quite tally. In his explanation, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said there “appears to be a high number of job vacancies” at present. This implies he is of the view that those on the payment are refusing to take up such jobs.
Is he aware of the rules of his own scheme? It states that people will lose the payment if they “refuse to return to work following a layoff or refuse an offer of suitable employment”. What is suitable employment? It is quite possible that the ‘jobs’ Mr Martin is referring to are in the gig economy, where so many people feel exploited.
Rathedmond, Co Sligo