Ireland's first “Covid-free pub” is set to open its doors to locals on Thursday, with mandatory rapid testing for all customers.
Donal Byrne, the owner of Eileen’s Bar in Aghamore, Co Mayo, said the on-site Covid-19 test will take 15 minutes to process.
The Western People reports the pub is using testing kits purchased from Communicare Medical Supplies in Claremorris, which are manufactured by Moe Lab, a German medical company.
“This has passed all of the clinical trials carried out by the German Army under strict EU manufacturing laws and it is being used by global companies. You have your result in 15 minutes and it is 99.9 per cent accurate,” said Mr Byrne, who went on to say he took a test himself on Thursday morning.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) said at the start of this that the only way out is with rapid testing and testing is what we’re going to do. The WHO has purchased over 120 million of these kits that I have purchased,” he said on the Tommy Marren Show on Midwest Radio.
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He said Covid swabs will be carried out by medical professionals at the pub between 5pm and 7pm every evening.
Once a patron tests negative, they are allowed to enter and must continue to adhere to social distancing, wearing of masks and hand-sanitising.
Mr Byrne said the pub would be open for regulars and locals in the Aghamore area only, catering to a maximum of 20 people under the current set of guidelines.
Under current Covid-19 restrictions, pubs that do not serve food can only offer delivery or take-away services.
When asked what he would do if gardaí were called out to the pub, Mr Byrne said he would “deal with those questions when they are in front of us.”
“Gardaí are safer calling to my premises than they are calling to a house party because everyone in my premises will have been Covid tested,” he said.
“The publicans in the west of Ireland are on their knees. The solutions that have been brought up are not satisfactory. This is something very safe using common sense and following what the WHO has been saying.”
“The man in charge of the WHO, Dr Michael Ryan, is from Charlestown, the company selling the tests is from Claremorris and the pub serving the drinks is in Aghamore. Why can’t east Mayo lead the way in this country?”