The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has claimed that Cabinet must make good on their word to reopen wet pubs later this month, adding that singling out 'non food pubs' would 'completely destroy the trust of publicans' in the current Government.
It was good news for publicans across Ireland last week, who finally received the news they had been waiting for after Government announced that pubs don't serve food would be allowed to reopen later this month, subject to local restrictions.
However, while the announcement has been welcomed by the industry, the LVA claims that there has been 'contradictory messaging from Government and NPHET', and is calling on the powers that be to follow through on their promises to reopen wet pubs on September 21.
Warning that singling out 'non food pubs from other hospitality businesses' would 'completely destroy publican trust in Government', the LVA has said that 'Cabinet must stick to its decision' if this is to be avoided.
Initially due to reopen on July 20th, thousands of wet pubs still remain closed and further delays would prove detrimental for already struggling business owners.
Commenting on the matter, Chief Executive of the LVA, Donal O'Keefe said:
'If the Government were to further delay the reopening of the non food pubs in Dublin, it would completely destroy any trust publicans have in the Government’s management of this crisis.
'It would fly in the face of the commitments made by Government last week, shatter the value of that Cabinet announcement and would raise the question as to what basis the Government is making its decisions. It would also have the immediate impact of driving many of these businesses into immediate mortgage default.
The mixed messages coming from NPHET and the Government is really adding to the uncertainty facing the publicans, their staff, suppliers and all the families involved. They feel like the ground keeps shifting around them. This is not the way a crisis should be managed.'
Also reacting to the news, owners at Grogans said that postponing their reopening for a fourth time 'cannot be allowed to happen'.
Only last week we were told by members of NPHET and Government that any further restrictions would treat us the same as other businesses.
This would be the 4th time we've postponed our reopening. It cannot be allowed to happen. https://t.co/qrkRqfciUR
— Grogans Castle Lounge (@GrogansPub) September 14, 2020
Many top health officials have expressed concerns over the reopening of pubs with one doctor saying that pubs in areas where there has been a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases should remain closed.