PUBS in both Cork city and county are understood to be adhering to Covid-19 guidelines as they finish their first week trading in over three months.
Cork City Chairperson of the Vintners Federation of Ireland Michael O’Donovan said that Gardaí in Cork have carried out a lot of inspections over the weekend, and he said he is “not aware of any incidents” so far.
His comments come following the emergence of video footage on social media which shows people drinking on busy streets around Dublin.
The Licensed Vintners Association condemned those responsible: “This is in no way acceptable and completely jeopardises public health, given the lack of social distancing observed.” However, they said that most pubs and customers were following guidelines, and said that they welcomed the Garda inspection operation to ensure adherence.
Gardaí have said they will publish information on Operation Navigation next week.
Meanwhile, Michael O’Donovan toldthat while many pubs in Cork were “very heavily booked” over the weekend, they’re still only operating at around 40-45% capacity because of social distancing.
He also raised concerns that publicans across Cork who don't serve food and are set for reopening on July 20 haven’t yet received guidelines for doing so, despite being initially told that guidelines would be published last Friday.
“For about 60% of the bars across the country, as we sit here today we don’t know what the guidelines are,” he said.
Mr O’Donovan runs The Castle Inn on South Main Street, which has had to wait to reopen in the next phase of the Government’s recovery roadmap.
“We’ve done some work in the bar but we still don’t know what the guidelines are. It’s getting difficult when you’re sitting waiting.
“We need to order stock to get delivered, but without the guidelines we don’t know what’s required. It’s getting to a point now where we’re starting to get worried without these guidelines being issued,” Mr O’Donovan said.
Businessman and publican Ernest Cantillion, is reopening both Sober Lane and Electric this week, having waited an extra week to see how reopening went for other premises. He said the new guidelines on July 20 will increase capacity as more bars will be able to open.
“That’s good and bad. From a social distancing point of view it will mean there are lots more options and lots more room, but the downside is I don’t know what demand is out there.
“Increasing capacity spreads that across more businesses and reduces the amount at each pub which will be a challenge financially,” he said.