Furious Hozier denounces ‘insane’ Covid rules with musical events in Dublin still without a roadmap

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Irish musician, singer and songwriter Hozier has denounced the ‘insane’ rules of Covid in the Republic of Ireland, as musical events in Dublin are still without a roadmap.

The Bray native took to Twitter to highlight his anger that the staff, team and musicians of the venue have found themselves out of work since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

His comments came after 10,000 people attended a concert in Falls Park, Belfast, as part of Féile an Phobail on Sunday night.

He said: “It’s absurd that this has happened just hours outside of Dublin, where the staff, team and musicians by the thousands are still without a roadmap of how and when they can just get back to work.

“The treatment of other industries in relation to music has been brutal and senseless. “

The Diversionary Féile Music Night featured DJs Paul Van Dyk and Judge Jules and no social distancing was required.

Sir Tom Jones also performed in Custom House Square in Belfast on Tuesday evening.

Participants had to present proof of double vaccination, proof of a negative lateral flow test, or proof of Covid antibodies.

But currently, the live events industry in the Republic of Ireland does not have a roadmap to return to normal even though the two cities are on the same island.

The rules in Ireland are as follows:

  • 200 people outside only with social distancing in place

  • It is not planned to allow higher capacity events with PCR tests or vaccination certificates

  • There is no indication when social distancing will be removed

  • There is no information on increasing the capacity of live events indoors or outdoors.

  • No information or date for the return of indoor concerts

Meanwhile, the nightlife campaign group Give Us The Night sent a letter to Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tanáiste Leo Varadkar and Tourism Minister Catherine Martin asking for a path for the reopening of clubs and night spots. .

They warned that a continued shutdown would lead to an upsurge in unregulated events, with the industry shutting down for almost 17 months.

They also said live events without social distancing are expected to be tested in September, and extensive antigen testing and PCR testing are expected to play a role in reopening the sector.

The letter read: “Despite the high vaccination rate, Ireland is the only European country that has not made any concrete plans for the return of its industry and event venues.

“A reopening plan that has been granted to all other industries at this point is long overdue.

“The industry has struggled with tough, outdated and soul-destroying regulations that have been responsible for the gradual decline and demise of what was a thriving industry.”

The campaign represents staff, DJs, promoters and venues nationwide.

“Ireland, despite its high vaccination rate, is the only European country that has not made any concrete plans for the return of its industry and event venues,” the letter said.

The campaign noted that bars and restaurants have reopened for indoor service, but “no significant consideration has been given to indoor and outdoor nightclubs or musical events, and no clear update has been given.”

The campaign said it was happy that sporting events had returned in large numbers, but said a plan for their sector was “long overdue.”

“The government’s response to the reopening has been inadequate, inflexible and lacking a basic understanding of how the industry works,” the letter added.

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