'If other venues who serve food and alcohol are allowed reopen, pubs should be granted same opportunity': Vintners propose plan to allow pubs reopen in June

'If other venues who serve food and alcohol are allowed reopen, pubs should be granted same opportunity': Vintners propose plan to allow pubs reopen in June
Classic bar with bar counter and beer taps

Publicans want to reopen their bars six weeks earlier than scheduled in the government's pandemic plan.

Trade groups have offered up a "radical" plan that would limit the number of people on the premises, ban live music, and make pubs table service only.

They hope to convince public health authorities to let them get back to work under those arrangements from the end of June instead of August 10.

Licenced Vintners Association chief executive Donal O'Keeffe says pub owners want them to be treated the same as cafés and restaurants.

“We fully respect the need to continue to protect the public health," he said.

"We have repeatedly proven this commitment, not least in the fact that our sector was the first to close across the country. We also believe that if other venues who serve food and alcohol are allowed to reopen in Phase 3, then pubs should be granted the same opportunity to trade.

"We don’t believe it is in any way appropriate that the Government should apply one rule for some hospitality businesses and another rule for others."

Some of the measures the LVA are willing to put in place are:

Bars will become dispense bars only with no sitting, standing, ordering, payment or drinking at the counter allowed 

Table service will be a requirement only customers seated at tables being served 

The numbers on the premises would be confined to no more than four per every 10 square metres 

A maximum of six people would be permitted at any one table 

Customers will be required to use hand sanitiser upon entry 

All customers must remain seated 

Staff will be fully trained in the new procedures 

The utilisation of outdoor spaces to enhance social distancing 

No live music or DJs 

Gardaí or the HSE will have the power to close any business who is flouting the public health guidelines

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