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Dublin: 20 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020
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Gardaí warn pubs flouting substantial meal and other guidance that they will be conducting checks

Gardaí and the Licensed Vintners Association say future licence renewals could be at risk for pubs ignoring public health advice.

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GARDAÍ HAVE SAID they will be inspecting pubs to ensure that guidelines for reopening are being observed.

Under Phase 3 of the government’s roadmap which began on Monday, pubs can now open if they serve “substantial meals” that cost at least €9 under guidance issued from Fáilte Ireland.

They are also permitted to impose social distancing rules of just one metre rather than two metres, subject to other mitigation requirements. Patrons must also spend a maximum of 105 minutes in pubs. 

In the days since Phase 3 kicked in, there have been numerous reports of people staying in pubs beyond the 105-minute limit and pubs not insisting on serving customers a substantial meal along with alcohol.  

In a joint statement today by gardaí and Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), both have called on pubs to adhere to the guidelines. They say separate meals must be provided to each individual drinking alcohol. 

“We will seek to engage and encourage all businesses to follow the guidelines and to do the right thing,” Assistant Garda Commissioner Anne Marie Cagney said today.

We will also be undertaking inspections to ensure pubs are respecting the guidelines. Our role is to maintain public order and if there are indications that any such problems are arising we will intervene. 

Gardaí do not have any additional powers to close pubs not adhering to guidelines but could likely use public order legislation to ensure compliance with public health advice. 

In their statement today, gardaí and the LVA say that pubs who disregard the guidelines “may receive an objection to their licence when it comes up for renewal”. 

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“Any disregard for public health will be a key consideration when it comes to licence renewals, a process which the authorities are keenly aware all pubs will be subjected to this coming September,” said Donall O’Keeffe of the LVA. 

Pubs that don’t serve a substantial meal can reopen from 20 July under Phase 4.

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Rónán Duffy

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