LVA asks government how many people need to be vaccinated for pubs to reopen
The pub body says the most effective pathway to the sector reopening is as rapid a Covid jab rollout as possible.
The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has called on the government to reveal what conditions are needed for pubs to reopen.
In their opening statement to the Oireachtas tourism committee on Tuesday, the Dublin publican body said that while it understands specific reopening dates cannot be provided yet, it wants answers from the government on a number of questions.
- What percentage of the adult population will need to be vaccinated to allow all pubs and hospitality businesses to reopen?
- What level of community transmission will need to apply to allow the sector to reopen?
- Will it be the case that pubs and hospitality can only reopen for vaccinated customers?
The LVA also requested that the "artificial distinction" between traditional wet bars and pubs that serve food be eliminated.
This is so that all pubs and hospitality businesses can open at the same time once a significant number of the population are vaccinated.
In a statement, the LVA said: "There could be no justification for keeping wet pubs closed while allowing food pubs and restaurants to reopen this summer.
"All hospitality businesses should face the same public health regime, the same Garda enforcement measures, and have the same opportunities to trade.
"Given the extended closure our sector has endured, the pub trade could not countenance any further separation between food pubs and wet pubs. There must be a vaccination dividend in terms of reopening without restrictions."
The LVA also called for the extension of government financial supports to facilitate the pub industry's longer-term recovery.
Dublin’s wet bars, late bars and nightclubs closed on 15 March last year and have not traded for a single day since.
Meanwhile, in the 372 days since pubs first shut their doors, the capital's food pubs have only traded for 105 days or 28% of that time.