Owner of Country Choice in Nenagh says onus for COVID safety has to be shared by employers and employees alike

Photo from Country Choice Nenagh Facebook page

The owner of a local café and delicatessen says he doesn’t see things returning to normal until at least next year.

Modification work is being carried out at Country Choice in Nenagh this week and Peter Ward says they hope to be able to open for two customers at a time from the end of next week.

Since he had to close the premises two months ago, he’s been selling produce from a stall on the street.

Speaking on Tipp Today earlier, Peter said he’s concentrating more on take-away than reopening the café section:

“I would predict myself that it would possibly be a year’s time before you would actually see the normality of four people sitting at a small table in a café, either in Paris or in Nenagh.

“We’ll change that somewhat to make that safe when the time for that comes. But we can’t open it in the meantime.

“In the meantime we’re just using the tables to pack parcels. We’re probably going to put in a little more space for our wine section.

“And we possibly will concentrate on our take-out business.”

Mr Ward also says the onus for health and safety has to be on the employee as well as the employer when it comes to COVID-19.

He makes the point that, as restrictions are lifted, the burden of coronavirus safety needs to be shared all around:

“It’s only documented from the point of view of what the employer has to do to make the workplace safe. But anybody that’s having illegal barbecues at home in their back yards, or meeting their friends for pizzas, or drinking cans in the industrial estates, or something like that – anyone that’s doing that and if they’re going to work or going on public transport the next morning, they’re jeopardising people going to work and their jeopardising the workplace.

“So it’s a 50/50 marriage between employers and employees.”