'Many rural pubs are small' - Vintners want customers to be allowed sit at bar

'Many rural pubs are small' - Vintners want customers to be allowed sit at bar

Padraig Cribben, chief executive of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, said some pubs may not be able to open without bar space.

The Government will be asked to permit customers to drink at the bar in more than 3,000 pubs which have yet to be allowed to open.

New guidelines aimed at reducing the risk of Covid-19 and which are specific to the remaining pubs only serving alcohol, are to to be published this week by Fáilte Ireland.

It is understood a key request is that customers be allowed to have a drink at the counter which is seen as essential for rural pubs.

Pubs serving food which are currently open do not allow customers to sit at the bar.

Padraig Cribben, chief executive of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, said some pubs may not be able to open without bar space.

Mr Cribben said: "Publicans should be allowed access to using bar stools, etc, provided that there is adequate protection in place for the bar person.

"Many pubs in the country are small, they are long and narrow, and without the bar space it would become difficult to be viable."

He added that it is a key issue for over 3,000 pubs.

He said: "We would say that it is imperative that the bar area be available, particularly in small, rural pubs where that is where the interaction takes place.

"Obviously the social distancing has to be in place and the relevant protection. We believe it is imperative that that area be available to the publican."

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