As the country awaits a Government announcement on what restrictions will be lifted in easing back Level 5’s restrictions the LVA has claimed that zero evidence exists that ‘wet’ pubs carry a greater risk than other hospitality venues such as restaurants or gastropubs.
“Any ‘risk’ is the same for all venues where alcohol is served, with zero distinction being made between these different types of outlets.”
It points out that the same time limits apply in wet pubs, gastropubs and restaurants; the same Social Distancing requirements apply – and table service is also compulsory in all these venues.
The Gardaí have the same powers to shut down on the spot any of these venues found to be not in compliance with the regulations.
The LVA therefore claims that the Government are now exposed if they choose to single out one part of the hospitality sector.
The National Public Health Emergency Team didn’t tell the Government that only the ‘wet’ pubs should be kept closed, said LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe, adding that the Government “can’t hide behind” NEPHET.
“We welcome restaurants and gastropubs being allowed to trade but if the Government allows them to open while keeping the wet pubs closed, it will be exposed as simply their political choice,” he said, “And that is a choice the individual TDs in Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party can expect to pay their own political price for,” he warned.