VFI CEO Says Pubs Not Adhering To Safety Guidelines Should Be Shut Down
Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) chief executive Padraig Cribben has said that pubs that are not adhering to COVID-19-related health and safety guidelines should be shut down.
Cribben stated that while only a small amount of pub are not following the guidelines, "a small amount is a small amount too many".
Speaking to The Business Post, he said, "Effectively, the authorities should be taking action, and that action should be closing them down."
A large number of pubs that serve food reopened on Monday June 29 with the expectation that they would adhere to strict health and safety guidelines including social distancing requirements, and July 20 is the date that the rest of the country's pubs are supposed to be allowed to reopen, with the expectation that they will adhere to the same guidelines.
However, the planned wider reopening of pubs on July 20 is now at risk due to concerns about social distancing, or the lack thereof, outside of drinks venues after crowds of people gathered outside some drinks venues over the weekend of July 4 without keeping the required distance from one another.
Talking about the pubs that are not adhering to the guidelines, Cribben told The Business Post, "They're doing damage first of all to their own business, and if people want to do that, that's fine, that's their business. But if you look at [state chief medical officer] Tony Holohan's comments yesterday, they're certainly creating potential damage for pubs that are not open until July 20 and they're doing reputational damage to the sector."
Cribben also said that he supports objections that the Gardaí may wish to make to licence renewals for pubs that do not follow the guidelines.
The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) also condemned the drinking on city streets that took place outside some drinks venues over the weekend of July 4, saying, "This is in no way acceptable and completely jeopardises public health, given the lack of social distancing observed", and that the association "fully supports measures being taken by the Gardaí to manage these issues."
LVA chief executive Donall O'Keefe told The Business Post, "Our strong preference is that those businesses that are flouting the guidelines get dealt with.
"It would be terribly unfair if a small number of businesses flout the guidelines and damage the potential for the rest of the trade to reopen on July 20.
"Clearly, it's a concern and it's important that those pubs that are open do so in a way that is both safe for staff and customers and allows the rest of the pub trade to re-open on July 20.
"We've been very strong and very public about the need to follow the guidelines and the need for severe consequences for those who don't. The reputation of the industry is at stake."
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