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Ireland Restaurants allowed to operate take-away service without planning permission during Covid-19 crisis

23:42  25 march  2020
23:42  25 march  2020 Source:   thejournal.ie

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Minister for Planning Eoghan Murphy announced the measures as part of actions on planning during the Covid - 19 crisis . Exemptions from normal planning rules to allow restaurants and cafes to provide takeaway and delivery services during the coronavirus pandemic have been approved by

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a close up of a sandwich sitting on top of a table: The public are being asked to support local restaurants by ordering a take away. © Shutterstock Mikhaylovskiy The public are being asked to support local restaurants by ordering a take away.

PLANNING PERMISSION USUALLY needed by restaurants to operate as a take-away is being waived during the Covid-19 crisis, the government has confirmed.

Speaking during a daily briefing on the coronavirus situation, Liz Canavan, a senior official in the Department of An Taoiseach, confirmed that the government is waiving the change of purpose permission for restaurants so they can continue to operate as a take-away service. 

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Cafes and restaurants are allowed to do takeaways only to stop the spread of COVID - 19 , which has infected more than 2,300 Australians. Unemployment in Australia is predicted to soar to 15 per cent, which would account for the highest rate of people out of work since 1932, according to The Age.

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In normal circumstances, restaurants must be given a special dispensation to allow them operate a takeaway services largely due to parking issues and traffic management. 

Ireland's Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks during a news conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland March 24, 2020.  Steve Humphreys/Pool via REUTERS © Thomson Reuters Ireland's Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks during a news conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland March 24, 2020. Steve Humphreys/Pool via REUTERS During his announcements on the latest Covid-19 measures yesterday, the Taoiseach said cafes and restaurants could remain open, but they should be restricted to take away only. He quipped that Irish people get a quarter of their calories from take aways.

While many of the measures were welcomed by organisations such as the Restaurants Association of Ireland, it said it did have concerns in relation to the announcement of the 70% top-up of workers salary to a cap of €410 per week. Small businesses must not be penalised due to cash flow difficulties, they said. 

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Restaurants, cafes and hoteliers have called for further supports during this tough time, and have once again called for a reduction in the food VAT rate to 0%. In addition, there have been calls for local authority rates to be waived and for direct business supports, including finance and marketing assistance to be offered. 

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McDonald's Restaurant in the Omni Centre, Santry, Dublin, Ireland. © Getty McDonald's Restaurant in the Omni Centre, Santry, Dublin, Ireland. While large restaurants such as McDonald's and Supermacs have closed their doors, a number of restaurants are still operating but through take away only, with many struggling to keep afloat. 

Amanda Roche-Kelly, Managing Director, Just Eat Ireland said they have been inundated with businesses that now want to offer a take away service.

“We’re doing everything in our power to drive the necessary orders to keep all our restaurant partners busy during these difficult days. Most of our existing partners remain open for delivery and collection and all are taking the necessary precautions to ensure safe delivery of food,” she said. 

Gallery: Ireland in the coronavirus crisis (Photo Services)

As part of a suite of measures to help restaurants, Just Eat has reduced commissions for independent restaurants already on the Just Eat platform and abolished sign up fees for those joining the platform during the crisis period.

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Are you thinking about canceling travel plans because of the coronavirus? See how you can recoup some or all of your costs. We will never share your email address with third parties without your permission . Are you rethinking your travel plans because of the novel coronavirus ( COVID - 19 )?

Parliament is likely to adjourn for four weeks and go on an early Easter recess after the emergency coronavirus legislation to tackle the crisis It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to stay in their homes unless "absolutely necessary" in a bid to prevent the further spread of Covid - 19 .

A team of people will work with the numerous restaurants who are seeking to offer a takeaway service for the first time – helping them to get online quickly while also giving them advice on optimising menus and opening times.

“We are also really conscious that there are hundreds of local independent restaurants in towns, villages and suburbs throughout the country that have been forced to close their doors. Previously they haven’t offered a delivery option but for them, this is the only way that they can keep staff employed and stay open during the period ahead,” said Roche-Kelly.  

Anyone who may have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, is advised to contact HSE Live via 1850 24 1850 or on the HSE website here

If you are unwell with a cough, especially with respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever) you should isolate yourself immediately and phone your GP

If you have a COVID-19 related travel query, you can call the dedicated advice centre on (01)613 1733.

Follow the government’s latest travel advice here

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