Publicans are calling for confirmation from the Government that indoor hospitality will resume by July 1st at the latest.
The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) said the success of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout should facilitate the resumption of indoor hospitality by July 1st.
“The success of the vaccine rollout is completely changing the picture when it comes to the pandemic,” said LVA chief executive Donall O’Keeffe, whose body represents Dublin pubs. Outdoor dining and pubs are due to reopen on June 7th.
“Thankfully this success also makes it safer for other activity to resume, including indoor hospitality service. Given that indoor service will be allowed in hotels and guesthouses from 2nd June and in all hospitality settings in Northern Ireland from Monday, we believe it would be reasonable that indoor service should resume no later than 1st July.
“While we welcome the fact that outdoor hospitality will return in another couple of weeks, unfortunately not all pubs and restaurants will be in a position to provide service of that nature,” he said.
On Friday Taoiseach Micheál Martin indicated that a higher number of vaccinations could allow for some positive news when the Government makes its “comprehensive” statement next week on the further reopening of society and sectors of the economy.
Mr Martin said discussions would take place on Monday and Tuesday with issues to be ironed out, ahead of an announcement mid-week.
Social distancing rules
Mr O’Keefe welcomed reports that social distancing requirements will be one metre for both outdoor and indoor service and that no time limits will apply.
The chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins, said the organisation would be in favour of the proposals to reduce social distancing to one metre.
“We would always welcome the reduction from two metres to one metre. We were one of the first associations to campaign for this last summer,” he said.
The association has yet to see the guidelines and has not been consulted on the matter by Fáilte Ireland, he said.