Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.35 4 Sep 2021


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The impact of the pandemic on the hospitality sector will not be fully known until restrictions are eased completely, according to the head of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA).

He was speaking as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the country will be proceeding with a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions on Monday.

Mr Varadkar said the vaccination of those under-35 is 'really working now'.

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In a tweet, he added: "Cases have plateaued/falling. Rise in patients in hospital and ICU slowing.

"All OK for next stage of re-opening on Monday".

LVA chief, Donal O'Keeffe, told Down To Business 17% of pubs in Ireland are still closed awaiting the full easing of restrictions on October 22nd.

And he says there is "no doubt" some late bars will close down for good.

"Nationally there's 83% of the pubs in Ireland open, 17[%] remain closed.

"In Dublin it's 91% are open, nine remain closed.

"We opened initially for outdoors back on the 7th of June last, that was a terrific success.

"Outdoor business has been just fantastic and that was a good way to start back into the trade.

"Then we got open indoors, finally, after 496 days on the 26th of July.

"We're delighted to be open, we're still dealing with very considerable public health restrictions on pubs.

"The pub experience is still a very long distance from normal, but we do have a date of the end of October where those restrictions will be removed.

"And then we can get get back to making a full recovery and rebuilding our businesses, recovering our jobs and moving forward."

'The magic date'

And he says they will know more at the end of October.

"I think the 22nd of October becomes the magic date to know who's staying closed permanently and who's re-opening.

"Clearly within that group, and particularly in Dublin, there's a bunch of late bars and nightclubs that simply are not permitted to open.

"At the minute all customers have to be off the premises by 11.30, you're not allowed to trade late.

"We do expect the vast majority of those late bars and nightclubs will open fully at the end of October.

"So I think you'll see that sector begin its recovery - but there is no doubt that nationally, and including Dublin, there are pubs that will not re-open.

"We are aware of 14 pubs that are now gone for good, and I've no doubt around the country there's lots.

"But we simply won't know that until November, until all restrictions are gone and the trade can re-open fully".

Impact of pandemic on pubs 'won't be known until November'

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Main image: Locked gates at Fitzsimons Pub in Temple Bar, Dublin in July 2021. Picture by: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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Donal Okeeffe Down To Business Hospitality Sector LVA Licensed Vintners Association Pubs

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