Vintners Call For Supports To Save Pub Trade From Closures

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Uncertainty over when pubs can reopen is a nightmare for owners, according to the Licensed Vintners Federation.

In an interview over the weekend, Health Minister Simon Harris said pubs may not be able to fully reopen until a vaccine is found.

The Licensed Vintners Federation says if pubs can’t reopen this year, many will never open again. The federation says it continues to support public health guidelines.

The LVA, the representative body for publicans in Dublin, said that this scenario would be disastrous for the pub industry.

It said that if most pubs were to remain shut for the foreseeable future, the sector would need specific government support or many outlets would risk going out of business.

CEO of the Licensed Vintners Association, Donal O’Keefe has addressed the fears of his members in the wake of the Health Minister’s weekend comments…

“That is the absolute nightmare scenario for the entire pub sector. If that happens then most pub businesses in this country will be out of business for good.

“The LVA and its members will absolutely support whatever measures are deemed necessary in the interests of public health, as we have done from the beginning of this crisis, but if closing pubs until 2021 is going to be necessary, then it is essential that a pub specific support scheme is introduced. Otherwise there won’t be a pub industry in this country by the time a vaccine is found.”

“The LVA welcomed the strong Government support for the 50,000 staff laid off as a result of the crisis. This will have to be extended for the duration of the pub closure period. However unless it is supplemented with a specific support scheme to keep the pubs themselves afloat, the staff will have no jobs to return to.

“This is undoubtedly a very difficult time for everyone in this country. While Minister Harris is doing an exceptional job at a time of national crisis, his comments have really petrified the entire pub sector across the country and many are now concerned not only about how to survive this pandemic, but also whether they will still have a business when this crisis eventually passes,” Mr. O’Keeffe concluded.