The frustrations of the current restrictions!
Spock nails it here!
The government lumped all indoor gatherings and events into one announcement back at the start of July delaying the return of indoor dining and putting a halt to our physical group reopening plans.
Since then, indoor dining has returned with some restrictions (vaccine or negative test status must be proved etc)
Gatherings of up to 200 people can take place “outdoors” where in some cases, rooms and marquees with walls etc are built outdoors that are possibly less well ventilated than some indoor venues with their doors open.
A hotel or any other function room can host a wedding reception for up to 100 people at a time, who can get drunk and lose inhibitions etc, maskless and can mingle together indoors for many hours at a time.
All gatherings over the border in Northern Ireland are back.
We can't hold a Slimming World group in a physical venue. A group that would be for 30 people max at a time, in a well ventilated big hall, with full social distancing in place and other protocols like mask wearing, sanitation and cleaning etc in place – for a maximum of 45 minutes.
Our group can't even run a socially distanced weigh in only, where members would be on site for a couple of minutes at a time to simply weigh in on a one to one basis. Both Bord Failte (for hotels) and Fingal Council who operate the Blakestown Community Center interpret this as a non essential event / meeting. But those same members can queue together at the checkout next door in Lidl.
I'm inundated with enquiries at the moment from people with a real need to lose weight, who wish to join our physical groups - but we're not considered an essential enough service. We're not even considered important enough to be given any update since early July alongside all other indoor groups.
There is no logic in this at all.
Of course we will continue to do our best to adapt - and continue to support and help members through our virtual groups whilst we wait for further news. Our group is still open but we want to be back in our venues where we belong, and where we can run as safely and more safely than other sectors that are allowed to operate.