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Vintners organisations 'not optimistic' pubs will be allowed to reopen at the end of the month

By Sarah Finnan

August 12, 2020 at 12:10pm

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A joint statement from the two Vintners organisations has said that they are not optimistic that pubs will be allowed to reopen at the end of the month.

Initially due to reopen on August 10th, pubs have been since been told that they won't be allowed to reopen to the public until the end of the month at the earliest.

Pressing for a strong support package for closed pubs, Vintners Groups have said that they are not optimistic pubs will be allowed to get back to business anytime soon in light of recent Covid trends. With many pubs now closed over five months, officials have said that funding is urgently required and have conveyed this directly to the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Public Expenditure.

With pubs being treated differently to other sectors of the economy, the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) want to see funding provided to all pubs who are being asked to stay closed due to the public health requirements.

A post on the LVA website reads:

"Last week, the Government announced that pubs who do not serve food must remain closed at least until 31st August 2020 – meaning 3,500 pubs employing 25,000 people across the country will have been unable to trade by Government order for a minimum of 168 days (46% of a year). This was the second time in three weeks the reopening had been delayed."

Adding that there is "growing scepticism across the industry" that Government will give the go-ahead to reopen at the end of the month, both the LVA and VFI have said that it's critical that a support package for the industry is announced.

The specific measures put forward by the vintners groups are:

  • Introduction of a 'pub support package' that will provide direct financial aid to pubs that are closed
  • Maintenance of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) at current rates for all closed pubs until their reopening
  • Extension of current licences for a period of 1 year (until September 2021) for all licensed premises - except those which the Gardaí intend to object to this coming September

Several publicans have disagreed with the decision to postpone pubs' reopening, including one Kildare man who also expressed anger at the localised lockdown imposed in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly.

Header image via Shutterstock 

READ NEXT: PICS: The UK’s first socially distanced concert drew plenty of praise last night

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