While it is "frustrating" to start the New Year in Lockdown, it is necessary and businesses and the public must follow Government guidelines and interpret the restrictions "conservatively for the next month at least".
This is the view of the Galway Chamber, which has called on the Government to continue to support businesses through Level 5 lockdown and to prioritise planning for the Vaccine rollout.
The Chamber said Government supports such as the Restart Grants, Pandemic Unemployment Payment, Covid Restrictions Support Scheme and Rates relief will need to be delivered "well into the June 2021 at least, to allow businesses to plan, to budget and ensure their survival".
It is also calling on employers to support remote working. "If people can work from home, then that is the only place they should be working from," said Galway Chamber chief executive Kenny Deery. "Employers must do everything they can do to support their employees to work remotely."
However, as Galway Chamber president, JP Gilmartin said there "is light at the end of the tunnel" as there is now a vaccine. He said the Government must "ensure the robustness of the implementation plan" and ensure the State's health services "get all the resources and support they require to deliver it to all”.
Mr Gilmartin also said Covid-19 is taking a toll on the local economy. "Further restrictions are devastating for many people," he said, "and our wellbeing. It is important to take care of our mental health during this time."
Supports are available at https://www.galwaychamber.com/galway-chamber-mindfulness-month.