The trade association for the liquid fuels sector in Ireland, The UK & Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) welcomes the news that An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced a ‘Roadmap’ for reopening society and business in Ireland with the first measures to come into effect on 18th May.
Commenting on the announcement UKIFDA Chief Executive Guy Pulham said: “It is good news for our Irish members who can now step up their planning for the year ahead and provides grounds for cautious optimism regarding a slow return to business as usual. Construction, manufacturing and industrial premises are in the early stages of the plan so their increased demand for fuels will help ease our Members’ current concern as will increased petrol/diesel sales, for those involved in that sector, when the public start to return to work.”
“Since the restrictions were introduced in March, UKIFDA has been engaging with the Irish Government and its agencies on a range of issues to ensure our members could continue to work safely and effectively delivering much needed heating oil to 686,000 households across Ireland and keeping fuel to the farming industry supplied. We certainly recognise the announcement of a timeline for reopening does not signal that the crisis is over, and over the past two months, businesses across Ireland have faced one of the most challenging periods in modern history. We also recognise the provisos around watching the numbers of cases as the timeline progresses and how it can all change but this timeline provides positive news for the country as a whole and all sectors of the economy including the liquid fuels distribution sector,” added Guy.
“With the introduction of the Irish timeline we believe a similar plan is needed for the UK and call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to set out a similar dated and informative timeline that provides clear direction for the public and for business across the sectors and gives priority to ensuring that the construction and manufacturing sectors are up and running quickly which will also help our UK Members concerns. It would appear sensible to mirror the Irish plan and therefore be able to compare notes at each stage in a collective Government approach.”
Nick Hayes, the UKIFDA’s Irish Representative added: “In getting to this stage, we want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts being made by frontline workers across Ireland whose commitment and dedication to caring for those suffering with coronavirus has led us to a point where we can begin to consider a return to business for industries that our members serve.”