Pub owners say new draft guidelines for reopening are “onerous” but they will make them work if they are given the chance.
The guidelines are broadly in line with those that are already in place for pubs that serve food – with visits limited to 105 minutes and bar service banned.
Last orders will also be called early with everyone out by 11:30pm.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) CEO Padraig Cribben said that after so many disappointments, he takes everything he hears about pubs reopening with a grain of salt.
“There is no doubt the guidelines are fairly onerous,” he said. “They will have fairly significant implications for capacity, for viability.
“I think it is also important to say we have been up this aisle two-and-a-half times already; we only got halfway up the aisle the third time and the one thing the guidelines are short of is a date.
“They are going to create major challenges for publicans. I have no doubt that publicans can rise to those challenges but we also need to make sure that we can rise to them in a way that maintains that kind of uniqueness of the Irish pub and that we can offer the service the consumer will yearn for.”
Mr Cribben said pubs should have been allowed to reopen along with restaurants two months ago.
“We have always been of the view that all of the pubs should have been allowed open at the same time with the same guidelines,” he said.
“We have been very clear – give us the guidelines, let us make it work and we want that to happen sooner rather than later.”
He said it is essential that the guidelines are updated as the situation with the virus changes.
Meanwhile, on The Pat Kenny Show, Trinity Professor Luke O’Neill said reopening pubs should be safe if the guidelines are followed.
“Ireland's been especially stringent as we know,” he said.
“That seems to have been because they claim we don't behave ourselves like someone in a French pub does - whether that's true or not I don't know.
“But certainly, if they adopt the guidelines that are going to be stringently suggested, then they should be OK.”
He said everyone needs to remember that pubs are “risky places” with the virus around.
“As I said to someone last week, it's like God's having a joke on the Irish: pubs are the perfect place for this virus to spread, unless you mitigate - and they are going to have all these mitigating rules I guess.
“I think we have to open them, let’s face it, for all kinds of social reasons - especially rural pubs, by the way, but they should have opened anyway cause the risk would be lower there,”
You can listen back to Padraig Cribben’s interview with Newstalk Breakfast here: