Covid-19: Retailers disappointed at delayed reopening of coffee shops

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) says the decision to keep pubs closed while allowing food premises to reopen "highlights a stunning act of Government hypocrisy". 
Covid-19: Retailers disappointed at delayed reopening of coffee shops

Retail Excellence expressed disappointment that coffee shops will remain closed until December 4. File picture.

Business groups have tentatively welcomed the easing of Covid-19 restrictions but the pub sector remains "bitterly disappointed".

Retail Excellence, the largest representative body for the retail industry in Ireland, generally approved the Government's plans but expressed disappointment that coffee shops, part of the shopping experience, will remain closed until December 4.

Duncan Graham, managing director, said many retailers were relieved to finally receive clarity with “just a few short weeks to go until Christmas".

This has been a dreadful year in which many retailers have been closed for up to 20 weeks even though we know retail is a safe environment for shoppers.

“It is critically important for our industry that non-essential retail outlets stay open after Tuesday and also that people continue to buy Irish so that livelihoods and indigenous businesses are protected," he said.

“It is regrettable that coffee shops and cafes have not been permitted to reopen on the same day as non-essential retail outlets," he added. 

"They are part of the shopping experience and have done just as much work as retailers to mitigate risk for their customers.”

Meanwhile, the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) says the decision to keep pubs closed while allowing food premises to reopen "highlights a stunning act of Government hypocrisy". 

“This will be the end of the road for many of our members, who were hanging on for Christmas in the hope of a busy festive period," said Padraig Cribben, VFI chief executive. 

With the early months of 2021 looking bleak we see many closures over the coming months.

“We will be requesting an urgent meeting with the Taoiseach to explain what additional measures will be put in place for pubs that are now missing out on any chance of recouping some of the massive losses experienced this year.

"There is also the question of a Government roadmap out of this crisis for the trade," he added. 

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