- 05 Jun 20
Bars that serve food will be able to pull the shutters up on June 29
The Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) and the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) have both welcomed the news that all pubs can reopen three weeks ahead of schedule on July 20, and that bars serving food will be able to pull the shutters up on June 29, the same day as the rest of the hospitality sector.
Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive, says: “This is a welcome shot in the arm for publicans who will have been closed for more than four months by the time they reopen on July 20. Pubs were the first sector to close on March 15, a decision our members supported for the good of public health. Moving the reopening of pubs to July means publicans can avail of an extra three weeks trading, something that is particularly relevant as it extends the summer season. While the Government’s announcement will come as a major relief to the trade, it shouldn’t mask the precarious future faced by pubs. Altering social distancing guidelines to one metre remains a priority as this would give publicans some chance of running a viable business until a time when social distancing rules no longer apply.”
Donall O’Keeffe, LVA Chief Executive, adds: “After a prolonged period of uncertainty pubs who serve food are relieved to finally receive the green light from Government that they can definitely reopen along with restaurants on June 29. We were consistent in advocating for pubs to receive the same treatment as other hospitality businesses that serve food and drink, so we are pleased that the Government has taken this on board in the adjusted reopening roadmap.
“Attention throughout the sector will now switch to what guidelines will be in place for the reopening. Pubs will need time to adapt their premises to address the guidance so we are eagerly awaiting the advice to come from NPHET. As our recent capacity report showed utilising the World Health Organisation (WHO) social distancing guidance of one metre will make a substantial difference to business viability and we hope that will be addressed in the hospitality sector guidance.
“Pubs will adapt and while it may take time for our valued customers to become accustomed to this new reality it’s important to remember this won’t be forever and a strong and vibrant trade will emerge at the end of this crisis,” he concludes.
While it will be down to the HSE and the Government, these are the key re-opening measures being suggested by the VFI/LVA:
Bars will become dispense bars only with no sitting, standing, ordering, payment or drinking at the bar allowed.
Table service will be a requirement with pubs only serving customers seated at tables.
The numbers on the premises would be confined to no more than 4 per every 10 square metres.
A maximum of 6 people would be permitted at any one table.
Customers will be required to use hand sanitiser upon entry.
All customers must remain seated.
Staff will be fully trained in the new procedures. They will also be asked to maintain a safe distance from customers when taking orders and to wash their hands thoroughly every 30 minutes.
The utilisation of outdoor spaces to enhance social distancing.
Procedures implemented to ensure safe use of toilet facilities, which may include limits on the numbers using toilets at any one time.
No live music or DJs.
Gardaí/ HSE will have the power to close any business who is flouting the public health guidelines.