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23rd Nov 2020

Head of Vintners Ireland on why pubs shouldn’t close at 10pm in December

Rory Cashin

He also discusses why all pubs should be opened, and not just pubs that serve food.

Earlier today, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that the Government intends to move Ireland to Level 3 of Covid-19 restrictions from December 1.

While that is good news for non-essential retail, the issue of bars and restaurants under Level 3 is still somewhat unclear, with “wet pubs” expected not to open when the Level 5 restrictions are lifted next week.

Padraig Cribben, the chief executive of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, spoke to Newstalk about how all pubs should be allowed to open:

“We have been very clear all along that what we really need is a period of time when there will be both drinking and dining inside – that there will be no differentiation between any type of pub – and that the determinant on capacity will be the capability to social distance.”

He also added that closing pubs early, such as the 10pm closing time that had been issued during the most-recent reprieve of pub closures, would lead to “more and more house parties”, stating that the COVID-19 figures in Ireland reveal that the spread of the virus within homes is “where the real problem is”.

At the time of writing, Ireland’s rate per 100,000 has fallen to 107.8, making it the third lowest rate in the EU, behind only Iceland and Finland.

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