Publicans call for indoor reopening of bars “no later” than 1 July
“We can’t have a two-tier pub sector on the island for longer than a couple of weeks".
Publicans are calling for indoor trading to resume no later than 1 July as the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) has called on the Government to reopen indoor wet pubs which have now remained closed for 15 months.
The VFI said that while it welcomes the reopening of pubs for outdoor trading on 7 June, they are looking for clarity for pub owners who don't have the ability to facilitate outdoor dining.
“Every day counts for our members and they need to hear from Government this week that indoor trading can resume no later than Thursday 1 July," Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive said.
“After a horrendous 15 months, it’s great to see the country reopen and publicans along with their staff are certainly looking forward to being part of that process. The successful vaccination programme sends a strong signal that life is returning to something approaching normal."
The publican added that he was concerned that the reopening of indoor dining in the North of Ireland would lead to a "two-tier pub system", and see people travelling across the border to socialise.
“This week pubs in the North will reopen indoors, three weeks after outdoor trading started there. We have said all along that pubs in the Republic should follow the same timeline, which would see our members reopen indoors by 1 July," he continued.
“We can’t have a two-tier pub sector on the island for longer than a couple of weeks as already people are crossing the border to socialise.
"When our pubs do reopen they must follow strict social distancing guidelines and we are asking the Government to get those guidelines published immediately so our members can begin preparations."