Publicans ‘would make every effort’ to be ready for later closing time this weekend

ireland
Publicans ‘Would Make Every Effort’ To Be Ready For Later Closing Time This Weekend Publicans ‘Would Make Every Effort’ To Be Ready For Later Closing Time This Weekend
The Licensed Vintners Association said the hospitality sector must be fully open 'well in advance' of St Patrick’s weekend. Photo: PA Images
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Publicans “would make every effort” to be ready for a later closing time this weekend if given the green light by Government, the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has said.

The representative body for publicans in Dublin is seeking the resumption of trading until midnight “at the earliest possible opportunity” and believes the sector will be able to adapt at short notice.

“Certainly the industry has had to shut down at very short notice on several occasions during the pandemic, so many would like the opportunity to adjust to good news in just as short a timeframe,” said Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the LVA.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is expected to provide recommendations regarding Covid-19 restrictions to Government on Thursday, with the Cabinet likely to meet on Friday.

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However, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said he thinks it will be towards the end of next week when restrictions begin to ease, giving the public a few days’ advance notice in relation to the changes.

St Patrick's Day

The LVA said it would also like to see the Government outline plans which allow for the reopening of late bars and nightclubs, with the removal of all other hospitality restrictions following “very shortly afterwards”.

“This would include allowing access to the bar counters once more, which hasn’t been permitted in pubs since before their original closure at the outset of the pandemic on 15th March 2020,” it said.

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“From a tourist perspective, so long as the current public health progress continues, we need to be able to say the hospitality sector is fully open and welcoming of visitors well in advance of St Patrick’s weekend,” said Mr O’Keeffe.

The LVA is also seeking “in-depth discussions” with the Government regarding a long-term plan to keep the sector fully open.

“This would involve the Government setting out a defined position on ventilation and air quality standards, as well as other mitigation measures that could be adopted by hospitality venues to help reduce the likelihood of further hospitality lockdowns,” it said.

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