Sligo Chamber says it is concerned that the latest actions to control COVID-19 are no more than ‘half-measures’ and are unlikely to have the effect the Government and society is hoping for.
The Chamber says there are serious fears across the country that further ‘circuit-break’ measures will be needed in a few weeks and that there’s a lack of confidence in the business community regarding the Government’s pandemic planning.
While everyone shares the concern that current increase in Covid cases is putting pressure on an already challenged health system, Sligo Chamber says there is intolerable pressure growing on businesses across all sectors.
There is a need to remind ministers that it is impossible for businesses to operate in an environment where government recommendations, and public health advice, are undergoing reversals on a week-by-week basis.
Sligo Chamber CEO Aidan Doyle said: “Sligo Chamber is calling on Government to take decisive action to mitigate the need for another round of lockdowns.
“Specifically, the vaccine booster programme needs to be accelerated.
“The Finance Bill also needs to be amended to ensure that ministers will have the flexibility needed to ensure that State supports are not withdrawn while lockdowns and other economic restrictions are simultaneously being reintroduced.
“We also want clarity on what the contingency plans are. Specifically, businesses need to know what further measures are likely to be introduced should the current circumstances continue to decline at the present rate, and also what measures are likely to occur should the crisis accelerate.”
“With the increasing likelihood of further measures being needed, Government needs to recognise that businesses which have had their activities restricted will require immediate supports, including wage subsidies, commercial rates waivers, and the reintroduction of restart grants for businesses where their operations are curtailed entirely.”