Publicans Want A Guarantee That €9 Meal Will Not Be Required In The Summer

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Publicans want a guarantee that the €9 substantial meal will not be required when pubs open in the summer.

They also believe that gastropubs and restaurants should not reopen before traditional ‘wet’ pubs.

The Licensed Vintners Association which represents Dublin pubs will be speaking to an Oireachtas committee today and they believe that “this artificial distinction between food businesses and wet pubs” must end.

The practice has been labelled as an “outmoded regulation.”

Last summer, some pubs were able to reopen as long as customers ordered a substantial meal along with their drink.

‘Wet’ pubs were only allowed to open for a short period and ‘wet’ pubs in Dublin have been closed since the pandemic began.

The Vinters Federation has also commented on the proposed reopening of the hospitality sector. They have said a clear statement from the government is required and that all premises be allowed to reopen under the same regulations.

In a statement, first reported on the Journal.ie, the Vinters Federation said:

“No more divides between food and non-food. The sector now needs a clear roadmap outlining the conditions that need to be in place for re-opening – level of vaccination, community transmission, hospitalisation, etc.

“Hope is needed. There is none. Such a roadmap would provide hope and help to reduce stress levels.”

Under level 5 restrictions, only takeaway food and drink is permitted from pubs and restaurants.

With level 4, outdoor dining of up to 15 people is allowed but indoor dining is forbidden.

Level 3 restrictions see the resumption of indoor dining, with restrictions easing at levels 2 and 1.

Publicans know that specific dates cannot be given at present, but they are seeking clarity on vaccinations, levels of infection in the community, and the LVA have also asked in their statement, “Will it be the case the pubs/hospitality can only reopen for vaccinated customers?”

Many representatives will speak at the Oireachtas meeting today and like many others, they will want clarity and a plan for reopening.

Adrian Cummins, CEO of The Restaurants Association of Ireland has said in a statement, “We need a plan for reopening, We need a plan to reemploy staff and above all our industry needs HOPE.”

Earlier this month, Leo Varadkar called on local authorities to do much as possible in order to facilitate outdoor dining for pubs and restaurants. You can read Radio Nova’s report on it here.

Publicans and customers will be looking forward to the reopening of the hospitality sector. While progress has been slow this month, Ireland’s vaccine rollout is said to ramp up over the coming weeks which will offer hope for the summer.

According to the latest figures from Ireland’s Covid-19 Data Hub a total of 675,946 vaccines have been administered.

These include 492,106 first doses while 183,840 people have received their second doses of a vaccine.