It’s time for a meaningful reopening plan.
That’s the plea from the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) this week as they call on the Irish Government to “immediately publish its plan to get the hospitality sector reopened here”.
As pubs in Northern Ireland prepare to resume indoor drinking and dining on May 24th, with all hospitality outlets in the North reopening together, pub owners in the Republic of Ireland are demanding some certainty.
“The most significant message coming from the North is that all hospitality opens together, including pubs, hotels and restaurants. Similar to England there is no divide based on food. That must be replicated here and avoid the divisions created in 2020.” said Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive.
“There has been commentary from senior politicians here about allowing hotels to reopen in June. Our message is clear that if indoor premises such as hotels are deemed safe it logically follows that, with the appropriate measures in place, a pub is also safe.
“All hospitality outlets must open together,” said Mr Cribben.
I was sent this earlier. @CastleGlanmire A lovely piece of advertising. I’m sure all your customers are missing you too. 😍😌😎👌🏼👏🏼 #StaySafe @VFIpubs @pure_cork @RonanMurphyCork pic.twitter.com/mrZHzRjoxf
— Cork Publicans (@CorkVFI) April 15, 2021
The VFI has created a document asking the Government to make it clear how many people need to be vaccinated to allow hospitality to reopen.
“We also need to understand what level of hospitalisations will Government deem safe for our members to resume trading. This will give reassurance to employees and hope to publicans,” said Mr Cribben.
Meanwhile, VFI members in the border region are expecting to lose customers across the border once pubs in the North resume outdoor drinking and dining on April 30th.
“For how long is that sustainable?” Mr Cribben asked.
“It’s another clear cut reason why Government must publish its reopening plan for hospitality immediately. England will reopen indoor drinking and dining on May 17th and has correctly abandoned the mandatory meal provision, while Northern Ireland will follow suit one week later. After being closed for over 14 months our members in the Republic deserve the same level of respect.”