Local Fianna Fáil Councillor, Aengus O’Rourke, has called upon Westmeath County Council to waive the outdoor seating licence for bars, cafes and restaurants within the county.
“The roadmap to recovery suggests that cafes and restaurants may be able to reopen at the end of June provided that social distancing measures for customers and staff are adhered to, while pubs may have to wait until August to reopen under the same conditions.
Cafes, restaurants and pubs will clearly have to sacrifice much of their indoor space in order to comply with the protocols. Outdoor space, where available, can therefore provide some compensation for these businesses.
“Ordinarily, businesses must apply to use public plazas and footpaths and a licence fee applies, but under the current challenging circumstances, I will be calling on the Council to forego the fees associated with this licence for 2020.
“I will also be calling on the local authority to work closely with these businesses to make as much outdoor space available as possible adjacent to their premises, where suitable.
“Hopefully, we will have good weather this summer and conditions will be suitable for diners to sit outdoors at our eateries around the county,” Cllr. O’Rourke asserted.