Kildare's publicans are concerned
Publicans across County Kildare are fearful of another lockdown because of the Covid-19 transmission rates.
And Declan Kennedy, a representative of the County Kildare Vintners Federation of Ireland, which represents pub owners, says this fear is backed up by anecdotal evidence that those working in the industry are very slow to order Christmas supplies.
Yet another set of restrictions were imposed late last week.
Pubs, restaurants, night clubs and licenced venues were told to shut at midnight from November 18 - although hotel bars can continue to serve drinks for residents to consume in their rooms.
People have also been advised to work from home and proof of immunity is now required to get into a cinema or theatre.
Proof of full vaccination is needed to access pubs and restaurants though accompanied children aged under 18 are exempted from the requirement to show proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus - but proof of the child’s age can be sought.
Unaccompanied minors must show vaccination certs or proof of immunity. Mr Kennedy, proprietor of Brady's Clockhouse in Maynooth, was critical of the midnight closure because the authorities did not make it clear that midnight was the cut off point and not the time last last orders will be accepted.
He said publicans and staff are being challenged over this.
“The cutoff point is fine most of the time but on Saturday nights people feel that they should be served for longer,” he said.
Mr Kennedy was also critical of the government for “overselling” vaccinations.
“People were left with the impression that once vaccinated they were effectively safe. The vaccine is like a seatbelt, it will protect you up to a point only.”
He said that people were given the impression that they would be safe from getting ill if they were vaccinated.
Mr Kennedy also criticised what he sees as an inconsistency between how pubs and hotels are treated and he said there is a need for a single system covering the acceptance of documentation.
“At the moment there are four different ways of presenting evidence that you’ve been vaccinated and thai needs to be tightened up.”
He said most publicans are doing their best to enforce the rules and that is being made difficult by non vaccinated people, who have become more strident in their opposition to the vaccine.
He predicted that if pubs are closed down many of those who survived the last lockdown will now remain shut.
Many have lost senior and experienced staff and if more follow them it will be the final nail in the coffin,” said Mr Kennedy.
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