Michael Staines
Michael Staines

14.41 28 Jun 2020


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Around 3,000 pubs across the country are planning to reopen their doors next week.

Phase Three of reopening begins tomorrow with hairdressers, barbers, gyms, pools, cinemas and churches also returning.

The country’s pubs will have been closed for 105 days by the time they begin to reopen tomorrow.

Those that do open will have to follow strict guidelines, including offering customers a ‘substantial meal’ and limiting visits to 105 minutes.

Safe reopening

Licensed Vintners Association spokesman Donal O'Keeffe said he is confident members will enforce the public health guidelines.

“There is huge awareness of them,” he said. “We have been emphasising the need to reopen responsibly but I think more importantly than that, there is a huge customer expectation that businesses reopen safely.”

“Our customers will expect us to follow the guidelines, to have adequate hand sanitisation on entry, to maintain social distancing and to enforce the rules for all customers.”

He said the 450 pubs in Dublin that are reopening will be very different in the coming weeks – and insisted they can return safely.

“Obviously we are not reopening like normal,” he said

“We are reopening as food businesses. People have to book to come in. they have to remain seated for table service at all time. The limit of their visit is curtailed to one hour and 45 minutes and we think having a meal and a drink in a pub is a safe thing to do.

“We have been advised by NPHET that it is OK for us to open under those conditions and we look forward to doing so.

“It is a step on the way to recovery to normalisation but pubs are not reopening as normal on Monday.”

"Opportunity and responsibility"

Meanwhile, the Licenced Vintners Association, which represents pubs all over the country said more than 60% of its members will remain closed until Phase Four in three weeks time.

It means that around 3,000 pubs will be opening their doors around the country.

The association said this week “brings opportunity and responsibility” to those who do reopen.

Irish pubs

Chief Executive Padraig Cribben said: “After being the first sector to close due to the Coronavirus threat in mid-March, we welcome this opportunity for pubs serving food to recommence trading.”

“There is a pent-up public demand to return to the pub, mixed with some natural anxiety, but we’re hopeful the considerable time and money spent by publicans ensuring their premises are as safe as possible will reassure the public that hospitality remains at the heart of our pubs.”

He said the guidelines present many challenges for publicans and criticised the government for introducing the 105 minute time limit while leaving publicans “to their own devices” in terms of policing it.

“What’s very clear at this early stage is that publicans, staff and customers will have to work together to make the reopening a success,” he said.

“Technically, the guidelines are not law but the HSA has the power to close premises while any publican flouting the guidelines could encounter difficulties when it comes to renewing their pub licence in September.”

He said mutual respect between publican and customers will be crucial in the weeks ahead.


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Coronavirus Covid-19 Phase Four Phase Three Pints Pubs Reopening

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