Vintners hit out at midnight curfew and call for financial support 2 months ago

Vintners hit out at midnight curfew and call for financial support

"The decision will effectively close many late night pubs and nightclubs."

The Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) and the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) have both blasted the Government's decision to reintroduce a midnight curfew for the hospitality sector.

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Ahead of a formal announcement on Tuesday evening, news filtered through of Cabinet's decision to walk back the extension of nightlife opening hours after less than four weeks.

In response, both the VFI and the LVA have called on Government to provide fresh financial support for those affected by the latest measures, including a reappraisal of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, which is set to reduce this week.

"The decision to introduce a new closing time of midnight from this Thursday will effectively close many late night pubs and nightclubs," said VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben.

"It will also seriously restrict other outlets at the most critical time of the year. Given the deteriorating health situation it’s no surprise Government is forced to take action but it is disappointing that the hospitality sector is at forefront of those actions.

"Supports will now be vital for impacted businesses."

Cribben's remarks were echoed by those in the LVA, who argue that pandemic supports including the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme, Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and Pandemic Unemployment must be reimplemented with immediate effect.

"Effectively, this latest announcement means that the current Government strategy isn't working," said Donall O'Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA.

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"We were told that if we waited until the majority of the public was vaccinated, we would be able to get back to trading.

"Well, we waited and that wasn't enough."