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Businesses err on side of caution over Covid

October 17th, 2020 11:40 PM

By Jackie Keogh

A group of around 40 people gathered outside Macroom Castle on Saturday to protest against what the organiser, Elaine O’Shea, described as ‘Draconian restrictions’ over Covid. The event was also an anti-corruption demonstration. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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Several West Cork businesses have closed their doors temporarily, due to possible contacts with positive Covid-19 cases.

The Fish Basket restaurant at Long Strand announced on October 7th that it was closing temporarily following ‘close contact with positive cases.’ It will, however, be business as usual, this weekend, following its 10-day closure.

‘We don’t have a B-team to draft in to run the place in our absence as we keep our Fish Basket family small and therefore we have no option but to close,’ the company posted on its Facebook page. 

It also advised its customers that it was working closely with ‘the powers that be to ensure everything is being done safely and correctly.’

On Tuesday, The Fish Basket confirmed it will be open again this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm, but it will be operating as a takeaway only, in accordance with the new Level Three restrictions.

‘This is now unfortunately part of living life with Covid and the safety and well-being of our customers and staff will always come first,’ it added.

Meanwhile, in Bantry, The Brick Oven announced on October 7th that although the public health authorities did not consider the restaurant a close contact with a positive case of Covid-19, it chose to close as ‘a precautionary measure.’ 

They said they would rather ‘err on the side of caution when it comes to the safety of our staff and our community.’

The restaurant remained closed for a week to give the owners time to assess the situation and on Tuesday, they announced the restaurant will be operating as a takeaway only from October 15th.

As the owner of Glenmar Shellfish Ltd in Union Hall, Lisavaird Co-operative was also contacted for a comment regarding claims that the seafood company had contact with a positive coronavirus case.

Pat Moriarty, the group general manager, confirmed: ‘We closed the shop – but not the factory – for one day due to staffing issues, but all of the necessary steps have been taken, those who need to self-isolate are doing so, and the HSE guidelines at Glenmar are being followed to the letter.’

Alastair Harte, the owner of Body Image Health and Fitness, confirmed that one of his two gyms is closed as ‘a precautionary measure’.

Alastair said: ‘The HSE told me it was safe to open but I decided to err on the side of caution and close the gym at Lisavaird because the safety of my staff, clients and the community is much more important to me than the loss of earnings over a 10-day period.’

He confirmed that a person who used the gym had tested positive and that he would not be reopening it until all of his staff get a double negative Covid-19 test result. His gym in Skibbereen remains open and continues to follow all guidelines.

In Bandon, Jakes Cakes, Restaurant and Bakery are temporarily closed after one of its staff members tested positive for Covid-19. Owner Tim McCarthy said they are closing as a pre-cautionary measure and hope to be open in about two weeks’ time.

A group of anti-mask protestors entered Field’s SuperValu in Skibbereen last week but did not, according to the owners, cause any hassle. Their presence did upset some shoppers who were abiding by the regulations.

On Saturday, gardaí in Macroom were called to an organised public demonstration outside Macroom Castle. About 40 people gathered to protest against what they called the ‘draconian restrictions’ that have been introduced due to the pandemic.

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