New ideas need to be debated on how to allow bars and restaurants re-open, and the only way this can be done is through the establishment of a city business forum.
This is the view of Fine Gael Galway City West councillor, Clodagh Higgins, who has put down a motion for debate at the next Galway City Council meeting, seeking to compel the local authority to establish a body which will provide local support for businesses in the aftermath of Covid19.
Cllr Higgins said that with social distancing likely to remain for some time, Galway needs to be "more innovative" in terms of helping businesses adapt - particularly the pubs and restaurants sector.
"Social distancing rules will wreak havoc on their businesses," she said. "We need to be more flexible in terms of allowing them to expand their external areas outside the curtilage of their premises so they can open their doors once again. So, let's dilute planning guidelines in order to try and facilitate these businesses."
Cllr Higgins said this can only be done with all relevant stakeholders around a table reaching a consensus. "Time is of the essence and not on the side of many shops, bars, and restaurants," she said. "We must be sensitive to this and work to help them without delay."