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Pub owners no longer expect to be allowed re-open at end of August due to Covid spikes

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The Auld Dubliner pub in Temple Bar during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic in Dublins City Centre Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Auld Dubliner pub in Temple Bar during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic in Dublins City Centre Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Auld Dubliner pub in Temple Bar during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic in Dublins City Centre Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

There is “growing scepticism” among publicans that they will be allowed to re-open at the end of the month due to recent spikes in Covid cases.  

They said the decision by the Government to prioritise the reopening of schools in September has cast doubt over the chances of them getting the green-light at the end of August.

Some 3,500 pubs employing 25,000 people have been ordered to stay shut after the reopening was delayed two times in three weeks, having most recently been put back from August 10.

A statement reads: "While pubs who are still closed want to reopen and trade as their first priority, there is growing scepticism across the industry that the Government will allow them to open their doors at the end of the month, in light of the critical public health situation that has been developing and the Government prioritising the reopening of schools."

And publicans are asking for stronger support packages for those pubs who have been forced to stay shut.

The two bodies representing Irish publicans said that it’s “critical” that an immediate and back-dated support package be given to the industry.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) are calling for measures that offer “meaningful support” in the form of grant aid.

The groups said that loans or cuts in indirect taxation measures will not benefit pubs that have had to stay closed.

The suggested the introduction of a ‘Pub Support Package’ which will provide direct financial aid to pubs that are closed. This would be calculated on a pro-rata weekly basis and linked to the re-start grant scheme.

It would remain in place for as long as they’ve had to keep their doors closed.

Payments would range from a low of €270 weekly to a high of €1,650 weekly depending on the premises. They would like to see it backdated from June 29 for each week the Government keeps these pubs closed.

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Additionally, they want to see their current licences extended for a year until September 2021.

Chief executive of the VFI Padraig Cribben said that pubs want the opportunity to trade responsibly.

“The pubs that are still closed can’t wait to get their doors open again, to interact with their customers and to earn a living. These businesses will abide by the public health requirements, they just want the same chance as was granted to the rest of the economy,” he said.

“They are being denied their right to trade due to the public health situation and they should receive meaningful assistance for as long as that continues.

“It is also critical that should there be any further delays to reopening that the Government simultaneously announces a support package. The survival of these businesses depends on it.”

Pubs are being denied their right to trade due to the public health situation and should receive meaningful assistance for as long as that continues, he said.

“It is also critical that should there be any further delays to reopening that the Government simultaneously announces a support package. The survival of these businesses depends on it,” he said.


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