03 Dec 2021

Publicans criticise drip feeding of pub opening guidelines

Publican groups call for the full and immediate publication of the guidelines

Popular Offaly pub is now up for sale

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) have called for the full and immediate publication of the guidelines for the reopening of pubs, saying the “drip feed” release is sowing confusion throughout the industry, creating more questions than answers.  

The representative bodies for pubs throughout the country also questioned why Fáilte Ireland did not release the pub guidelines at the same time as those published for the rest of the hospitality sector.
Following media reports about what the guidelines will involve, the LVA and the VFI have highlighted some of the questions that are still to be addressed around the guidelines:
• What are the full guidelines that will apply to pubs who serve food reopening on the 29th June?
• What are the full guidelines that will apply to pubs from the 20th July, when all other pubs are due to reopen?
• Will the €9 meal requirement be removed for pubs after 20th July?
• What contract tracing measures will be required of pubs under these guidelines?
• Why didn’t Fáilte Ireland publish the guidelines for pubs at the same time as those released for restaurants, cafes and the rest of the hospitality sector?
“The drip feed release of these guidelines has been handled in a completely arbitrary manner, which is sowing confusion throughout the industry,” said Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA.

“Pubs who serve food are due to reopen on Monday week, but they still don’t have clarity as to what will be required of them. These businesses need time to get their premises ready, to ensure their pubs are fully compliant while offering a safe and comfortable environment for their customers and staff.

“To avoid any further uncertainty, the guidelines for the industry should be immediately published in full. We need to know what will be required of pubs on the 29th June and what will be required of pubs on 20th July, it’s that simple,” he said.  
“There is no reason why the publication of the pub guidelines should have been delayed this long,” said Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive of the VFI.

“The absence of the detailed guidelines is generating speculation which will hamper the efforts of pubs getting ready to reopen. This has been a very uncertain time for the industry and instead of having a clear understanding of what will be required we’re left with a lot more questions than answers.

“It’s almost as if the guidelines are a puzzle which publicans have to try to piece together. We are calling on Fáilte Ireland to make the guidelines available so that these 7,000 businesses can make all necessary preparations in time,” Mr. Cribben concluded.

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