VFI: Pubs have 'every chance' of reopening in 10 days but wanted guidelines this week

Paul Moynihan, incoming president of the VFI, has also hit out at the release date of guidelines for pubs to reopen.
VFI: Pubs have 'every chance' of reopening in 10 days but wanted guidelines this week

Paul Moynihan, incoming president of the VFI, said the Cabinet should still give pubs the go-ahead when they meet next Tuesday.

Publicans say they are still confident all pubs will be able to open on August 10, despite the 85 coronavirus cases here yesterday.

Yesterday saw the highest number of cases in more than two months.

However, there is now fresh doubt over whether phase 4 of the roadmap will go ahead in 10 days' time.

Paul Moynihan, incoming president of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), said the Cabinet should still give pubs the go-ahead when they meet next Tuesday.

He said: "You watch what will happen when we get there, there will be house parties unregulated all over the country. What will happen in those scenarios?

"I mean, you are talking about pubs that are going to try and get people back into an organised fashion to socialise and I think that we can do a better job of it rather than putting people into house parties.

"But that's going forward and hopefully it'll be successful."

He said he understands people's concerns given a rise in the number of cases.

Mr Moynihan said: "I've seen the numbers yesterday but... I don't want people to panic and I don't think we should panic.

"The rolling 14 days figure is positive and that's the figure that most agencies look at to re-open.

"If that can stay low, I think we've every chance.

The other side of it is that the pubs and restaurants [that] are open, there's been no clusters associated with the pubs that have opened so far - so that's a very positive thing.

"And I think it shows that the premises that are open are set up in a way that we can trade efficiently and safely".

Mr Moynihan has also hit out at the release date of guidelines for pubs to reopen.

The guidelines for reopening pubs will not be released until next week, while the Government is set to meet on Tuesday to make a decision on lifting the final phase of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Mr Moynihan said this is not enough time for his members.

He told Newstalk Breakfast: "We would have hoped that we would have guidelines out this week so we could kind of get organised, get our stock in, get our staff organised, etc.

"But given a few days notice to open back up a business is very difficult.

"We were hoping that we would have the guidelines out this week so we could look at them, scrutinise them and know exactly what we need to do to our premises.

"We have a general idea from the reopening of pubs as restaurants... and we've seen how it's worked.

"But still for us as only alcohol - we call it a wet pub - to reopen on Monday week, we haven't seen any guidelines yet.

That's only 10 days now - I think if they're talking about maybe being out next Wednesday, so we'll probably have four or five days - and maybe two/three working days - I don't know how that's possible to try and turn your premises around.

"A lot of the work is done, but the tweaking of the final issues: we need to get stock in next week, organise your staff.

"We've got to put the staff and ourselves through some training stuff before we re-open.

"We have to be very careful - we're very interested in opening in a very safe manner. We want to make this work for ourselves and for the society as a whole.

"We don't want to put anybody in danger, we want to make sure we get this right and we want to bring all the agencies with us.

"Gives us the guidelines that we need and we'll do it, and we'll make sure it works".

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