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Kerry publican 'surprised' at new guidelines for 100% capacity

Nightclubs can open at 100% capacity for vaccinated customers, and 11:30pm closing time is scrapped
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.59 22 Oct 2021


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Kerry publican 'surprised' at new guidelines for 100% capacity


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.59 22 Oct 2021


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One Kerry publican says new guidelines around pubs, nightclubs and live venues aren't clear, but are "clear enough for us to proceed".

It comes as nightclubs will be able to open at 100% capacity from Friday night, once everyone attending is vaccinated.

Up to 1,500 people will also be allowed to stand at indoor gig venues, and a 11:30pm closing time for pubs and restaurants is scrapped.

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Tables will be limited to a maximum of 10 adults, but people can make multiple bookings.

And while table service remains, people can queue at the bar once social distancing is observed.

George Savage is publican and owner of 'The Blasket' in Tralee, Co Kerry.

He told Newstalk Breakfast the guidelines went further than he thought they would.

"They're definitely not clear, but they're clear enough for us to proceed definitely.

"We're delighted to be opening, we were waiting to see would we be opening.

"I think another key part of re-opening was would there be table service, because staffing etc it'll be quite challenging - so that's not really a part of it.

"And I suppose it's kind of surprising they're saying 100% - but I don't think it's practical for smaller venues like ourselves to go to actual 100%".

George says at 100% capacity, his venue would "absolutely not" be able to accommodate social distancing.

"We'll have to cordon off areas close to the bar counters so that people can queue in a socially distant manner."

But he says this is nothing new for them.

"Look it's great to get open, we're absolutely delighted to get open.

"I suppose part of our job description is that we control crowds, we have people at the front door - so checking the COVID passports and all that, that's not new to us.

"We're used to that, we're used to engaging with customers so it's not a huge shock to our system".

'Shackles have been removed'

Martin Nolan is owner of the MPI Artists booking agency, and also welcomes the 'baby step' towards recovery.

"It's a huge relief - the events industry and music industry has been calling on the Government for a re-opening plan for well over a year at this stage.

"It feels like the shackles have finally been removed.

"The term 'first to close, last to re-open' it wasn't a flippant slogan that was coined - it's actually the reality of our industry.

"Even for music fans, the uncertainty caused this week just stopped ticket sales dead in their tracks in an industry where customer confidence is already at an all-time low.

"I think every fan in the country has at least one ticket or more for shows that have been rescheduled.

"So this is the first baby step towards getting back to our industry, it's a baby step towards recovery.

"It's re-building your business, it's getting back all the loses... so it is a baby step, but it's a very important baby step".

Kerry publican 'surprised' at new guidelines for 100% capacity

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   

Main  image: A barman pouring a beer in February 2019. Picture by: Viacheslav Iakobchuk / Alamy Stock Photo

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100% Capacity Co Kerry George Savage Guidelines Live Venues Martin Nolan Newstalk Breakfast Nightclubs Pubs The Blasket

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