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Pub Snub New Covid-19 reopening plan 'devastating' for publicans as table service to continue

Under the revised reopening plan announced by the Government on Tuesday, pubs must continue with mandatory table service until February 2022 at the earliest.

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Irish publicans have said that the Government’s decision to keep Covid restrictions in place until February is a “devastating blow” for the events industry.

Under the revised reopening plan announced by the Government on Tuesday, pubs must continue with mandatory table service until February 2022 at the earliest.

Additionally, customers will not be allowed to sit or stand at the bar, unlike nightclubs, which will be permitted to allow bar service from this Friday, October 22nd.

The Vintner’s Federation of Ireland (VFI) said that these restrictions can only result in “further pub closures” as mandatory table service significantly reduces capacity in venues.

The VFI believe that the Government’s decision not to ease Covid restrictions is a result of them “failing to deal with the small percentage of people who remain unvaccinated.”

VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben said: “The Government decision to keep restrictions in place until February at the earliest is another devastating blow to the pub trade.

“Over 92pc of people are vaccinated so we could easily have removed mandatory table service by limiting entry to customers with vaccine passes.

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Vintner's Federation of Ireland chief Padraig Cribben

Vintner's Federation of Ireland chief Padraig Cribben

Vintner's Federation of Ireland chief Padraig Cribben

“We also have to contend with the glaring anomaly of nightclubs reopening where, according to the Taoiseach, people will be permitted to dance while customers in pubs won’t be allowed sit at the bar counter.

“We thought this crisis was coming to an end on Friday but now face the prospect of severely curtailed trading through the busiest period of the year.”

Mr Cribben’s comments come as the 3Arena announced today that organisers would be going ahead with the “Biggest Disco 90’s” event on Saturday 23rd October.

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While nightclubs are set to reopen this weekend, the new reopening plan states that music venues can only sell seated tickets, with dancing permitted at a ticketholder’s seat only.

Entry to the Biggest Disco 90’s event will now require proof of vaccination, and mask wearing is required “in all public areas” to maintain a “safe and enjoyable” environment for all attendees.

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