Businesses across Fingal are bracing themselves for the financial impact of Covid-19, as the outbreak of the virus continues to affect not only human health, but the future of local enterprise, particularly those in the hospitality sector.
For Antonio Schiru, owner of The Brick Room restaurant in Balbriggan, the outbreak of the virus was already having dire consequences last week: 'It is really affecting us, there's not many people around so it's very quiet.
'It's really today that's affecting us, yesterday was just as normal. I think it's going to continue like that, and I think it's going to get worse next week.
'I'm Italian so I've been following this virus problem, and it looks like we are just about ten days behind Italy, so whatever happens in Italy is going to happen here, and it's going to get worse in the next few weeks.
'We are probably going to have to close everything. We are ten days behind Italy so next Wednesday probably, we're going to close down everything.'
Antonio said he was checking his insurance policy to see if closure of his restaurant was covered under its terms, and was also contacting social welfare to determine staff entitlements should the restaurant close.
He said he was not sure how the issue was affecting other restaurants in Balbriggan, but that he could only see the situation getting worse.
Wayne Lynch, bartender with The Cock Tavern in Swords said that, for now at least, it was business as usual, but that the business anticipated the situation would get worse in the weeks to come and his comments had a lot of foresight, as by the weekend, pubs were already taking the difficult decision to close around Fingal until the Taoiseach appealed for pub closures on Sunday night.