Already a very trying time for those working in the hospitality industry, the news that restaurants and pubs that serve food must now close at 11pm is a further blow to business owners struggling to stay afloat.
Lamenting the decision online, local Galway restaurateur JP McMahon tweeted to say:
"Shocking news today from Government who have again demonstrated they do not understand the industry. Being empty at 11pm will mean last booking at 9:15. This means we will lose more bookings on the weekend. How are we supposed to survive? Still expected to pay full rent though."
According to McMahon, Government should be looking at providing guidelines to landlords in relation to rent reductions as "paying rent for less seats and less opening hours is not viable long term".
A number of others have agreed with what McMahon had to say, including local Councillor Owen Hanley who commented that the 11pm closing time "makes very little sense" to him.
"If small businesses are social distancing customers and following health guidelines surely having more hours to serve customers is a good thing? This will simply make it even more punitive to staying open."
A follow-up tweet from McMahon claimed that it was "gaffe after gaffe for this government. Not a week goes past with more lack of empathy for SMES."
Header image via Instagram/Aniar Galway