From Monday, all hospitality venues, theatres, and cinemas will have to abide by an 8pm curfew brought in by the Irish Government. The Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, has said that the curfew is needed to halt the spread of the Omicron variant, with the Licensed Vinters Association labelling the incoming mandate as “closure in camouflage”. MailOnline has more.
Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) said pubs would be forced to close their doors for the duration of the restrictions.
He added: “I guess the Government thinks we should feel grateful for the 8pm closing given Nphet’s demand for a 5pm curfew.
“The reality is this decision will decimate the trade that was already on its knees.
“Christmas was the one chance we had to recoup some of the losses amassed earlier in the year but we’re now in a situation where staff will lose their jobs and pubs will shut one week before Christmas as they see little point in opening under these conditions.
“While Government may see 8pm as a compromise the reality is that many pubs don’t open until 5pm so three hours trading is unworkable for them.
“Even for pubs that open earlier the majority of their trade takes place at night time.”
He added: “Given the relentless public health message over the past number of weeks to avoid socialising the public had already cancelled bookings in record numbers.
“There was no need to further restrict trading hours as our customers are safer in regulated pubs that adhere to guidelines instead of house parties and shebeens.