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Publicans in Dublin urge government to 'stick with its decision' on 21 September re-opening date

The Licenced Vintners Association said today that publicans in Dublin and around the country deserve the chance to re-open.

THE GOVERNMENT IS being urged by publicans to “stick with its decision” and allow the ‘wet’ pubs to re-open next Monday 21 September.

Last week, pubs were given a fourth date for when they could welcome customers back again but this date has now been put into doubt in Dublin amid a surge of cases of Covid-19 in the capital. 

Cabinet is due to discuss the matter tomorrow as it agrees its framework for living with Covid-19 over the medium term. It’s believed that further restrictions could be announced for Dublin as the capital drives the national rise in cases. 

Publicans around the country are putting in preparations ahead of next Monday, but those in Dublin are uncertain as to whether they’ll be permitted to re-open.

Pubs that serve food have been open since 29 June, but pubs that do not have now been closed for six months. 

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Donall O’Keeffe from the Licenced Vintners Association (LVA) – which represents Dublin pubs – said his members deserve the opportunity to re-open. 

“We’re very concerned,” he said when asked about the prospect of Dublin pubs not getting the chance to open next week. 

“We’re calling on the Cabinet to stick by their decision so publicans can begin the long and difficult task of rebuilding our businesses.”

O’Keeffe said that the hospitality sector has been a “source of very limited outbreaks” since some pubs, restaurants and hotels re-opened in late June. 

He said that house parties, meat plants and Direct Provision were a greater source of outbreaks of Covid-19.

“These pubs [that remain closed] have made no contribution to the infection rate in Dublin or Ireland,” he said. “They’ve not been a factor here.”

O’Keeffe added that the “pub experience” will be completely changed once they are allowed to re-open with factors such as 50% capacity and no seating or standing at the bar coming into play. 

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