LVA welcomes 5 July indoor reopening date for Irish hospitality

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has welcomed confirmation from the Irish Government that all pubs will reopen for indoor service from 5 July, saying it will mark the official beginning of the recovery for pubs and hospitality.

One third of the pubs in Dublin have not been able to open their doors since 15th March 2020. The Government’s announcement means they will finally be able to admit customers back into their premises in just over one month’s time, after 476 consecutive days of closure.

The LVA also noted that while the confirmation of the reopening for indoor service was vital, the publication of the National Economic Recovery Plan next week will also be extremely important for the recovery of the hospitality sector.

“We are pleased to have finally received confirmation that all pubs will be able to reopen for indoor service from 5th July,” said Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA. “It has been a long time coming, but this is a time for hope and optimism. The 5th July will mark the beginning of the recovery for pubs and other hospitality businesses. Many pubs will not be in a position to offer outdoor service, so confirmation of the date for reopening indoors was vital. Everyone in our sector will now be counting down the days until the 5th July.

“It is extremely important that all pubs, food and traditional, will now be able to open together. We are absolutely delighted that the Government has taken this on board and that there will be no further divisions in our industry. Our members are all simply ‘pubs’ once again. Hopefully no one will ever have the need to use the term ‘wet pubs’ in future. We also outlined to Government that it was important for our sector that outdoor capacity should be dictated by social distancing requirements, so we are glad to see that has been reflected in the guidelines.

“While this announcement has been badly needed for quite some time, the publication of the National Economic Recovery Plan next week will also be vital for the recovery of our industry. The fact is that even in July, after almost 16 months of closure, we will still be operating with significant restrictions which really damage our viability. Some elements of the trade, such as late bars, won’t be opening on the 5th July. As the Government is keen to see the hospitality sector recover, then supports will need to remain in place for the remainder of 2021 and beyond. We also welcome the announcement of an outdoor grant scheme for traditional pubs.

“Obviously the 5th July will now mark a major milestone for our sector, but it really is the beginning of a process. We will also be working with the Government in the coming weeks and months to discuss the easing of the restrictions on our trade as the vaccine rollout progresses and the public health situation improves,” Mr. O’Keeffe concluded.