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Watch: 'This shows we could reopen sooner in Ireland' - Jameson Distillery pub in Cologne back in business

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PUBLICAN Louis Fitzgerald said bars reopening across Europe should send a signal to the Irish government that pubs could get back up and running here sooner.

Footage from the Jameson Distillery bar in Cologne, Germany, which reopened on Monday, shows customers enjoying a pint with social distancing in place.

Staff can be seen wearing face masks and every second table inside the bar is empty.

Pubs in Ireland are not due to open until August 10, which is phase 5 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Publicans are working around the clock to get their businesses prepared, with many calling for the government to allow an earlier opening date.

“It’s time for us to reopen,” Louis Fitzgerald told Independent.ie.

“Pubs are putting in a lot of thought into how we will get back up and running. The video from the bar in Cologne shows a lot of separation and I think pubs here could be able to reopen.

“We are looking at the possibility of taking customers’ temperatures and many establishments have high-end CCTV in place which would make contract tracing possible.”

Fitzgerald, who runs some of Dublin’s best known bars including Kehoe’s, The Stag’s Head and The Quays in Temple Bar, is looking at starting a grab-and-go food service at some of his venues.

“We have created a one-way entry and exit system at the Poitin Stil in Kildare and have put perspex screening in place. We are hoping to have it up and running by the end of next week.”

Health chiefs are considering proposals put forward by the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) and Licensed Vintners’ Association (LVA) to reopen pubs six weeks earlier than originally planned.

Both organisations represent bars in Dublin and beyond and have put together guidelines on how pubs could open as early as June 29.

Some of the measures outlined include keeping no more than four people per every 10 square metres and only allowing a maximum of 6 people at any one table.

Online Editors