The VFI has advised pubgoers that many establishments will remain closed on St. Stephen's Day in order to give staff a break.
Usually one of the busiest dates on the calendar for publicans, the traditional St. Stephen's Day night out might not be possible in some areas even though Ireland is expected to still be under Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions on December 26. Restaurants and gastropubs reopened on Friday, but Michael O’Donovan, the chairman of the Cork branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), has suggested that many publicans might take an extended break around Christmas.
"Most of the gastropubs that reopened will get their last fresh food delivery early on Christmas Eve," he said. "Many suppliers won't be delivering on St Stephen’s Day, and maybe even the next day, a Sunday."
O'Donovan also cited the unusual trading hours this year as a reason to give staff a break on December 26, adding: "Because staff are working extra hours, for example on Christmas Eve, kitchens would normally close at lunchtime, but this year, they will stay open later, and on New Year's Eve too."
A number of rules are in place for restaurants and pubs that are open this December, including a six-person limit at tables and the provision that customers should order a substantial meal that costs at least €9. You can read about these in more detail here.