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Easing of restrictions for Laois & Offaly

21st August 2020

Travel Restrictions Eased for Laois & Offaly

With the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions announced today for Laois and Offaly, local business continues to deal with the nationwide blanket restrictions while the country readies itself for return to school.

With the delayed summer season drawing to a close, this leaves little comfort for the battered Tourism and Hospitality sector which now must look to September 13th to see if restrictions on gatherings will be relaxed.

Calling for better communications to remove some of the uncertainty business is dealing with at-the-moment, President Roger Guiney comments ‘Understanding that public health decisions need to be made quickly, insight into decisions will be hugely helpful to avoid compliance-fatigue and get buy-in from employers and the public. With several other counties prominently featuring on daily infection reports, this becomes important, and especially so for our colleagues in Kildare – Kildare is open, commerce continues.”  

Following Acting CMO Dr Glynn’s communication that 1/3 of cases in the 14 day period to August 18th were workplace related, our members have no doubt about the responsibility placed on them. In particular, our publicans that have still not opened their doors must be confidently trusted to do whatever is required.

“As we learn to live with the virus, increased testing, inspections and stronger enforcement may be one way forward in terms of living with the virus, the short-term need is for cash and cashflow” continued Roger Guiney.

Frustratingly Revenue have reported there could be six-week delays in business receiving payments due under the Extended Wage Subsidy Scheme replacing the expiring Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme at the end of this month.

The Business Restart Plus grant with and extra 20% top for qualifying Offaly business is now also open for applications until September 30th. For sole traders, the Enterprise Support Grant of up to €1000 is available.

September also sees a welcome reduction in the top rate of VAT. While many enterprises large and small continue to struggle with cashflow this will likely be used to fund increased day-to-day increased operating costs related to cleaning and PPE and not necessarily lead to lower prices.

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