"About time" - Pubs react to confirmed reopening date this month
All pubs have been given the go ahead to reopen on 21 September.
The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) have responded to the news that all pubs will be allowed reopen on 21 September by saying that it's "about time".
The confirmation by Cabinet on Tuesday that all pubs can reopen includes so-called 'wet pubs' (pubs which do not serve food), which have all been closed for the best part of six months.
This will be the fourth reopening date provided to the non-food serving pubs (wet pubs), with the Government previously having delayed reopenings scheduled for 20 July, 10 August and 31 August.
Strict safety guidelines have been put forward by the Government similar to those already in force for pubs which can serve food. The guidelines require there to be table service only and also put a strong emphasis on social distancing. A closing time of 11.30pm will also be in place.
As of the beginning of September, Ireland was the only country in the EU in which wet pubs were not allowed to open.
Speaking about the announcement, LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe said: "It’s about time this decision was made. We feel there was little justification for the Government to have repeatedly delayed the reopening.
"If all pubs are following social distancing then they should all have had the opportunity to get their doors open long before now. The vast majority of pubs have acted incredibly responsibly during this crisis and the pubs still closed have taken a real hit for the good of public health.
"It is about time that this contribution was acknowledged by the Government. We look forward to raising a glass once these pubs do get to open their doors again after six long months."