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Pubs call for immediate reopening after NPHET lifts almost all restrictions

'Hospitality is ready and waiting to open our doors this weekend'

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

There have been calls for pubs to be allowed to fully re-open from this weekend, after NPHET gave the green light for almost all restrictions to be lifted.

With the use of facemasks in certain settings and the requirement to self-isolate when symptomatic being the only rules expected to remain in place, publicans are demanding immediate permission to open their doors.

VFI chief executive Padraig Cribben told Newstalk Breakfast this morning a full re-opening now would be in keeping with the latest public health advice.

"We have been closed now for the guts of 22 months - either closed or significantly restricted,” he said.

"We've been clear since day one... that we should follow the public health advice.

"The public health advice now would appear to be very clearly that we should be allowed fully open.

"And we believe that should happen immediately."

And he says the advice will be the same on Monday.

"There is nothing wrong with tonight if the indications are given early today.

"There is an opportunity there for people to trade normally, there is an opportunity for people to socialise.

"If the public health advice is such, it's the same today as it will be tomorrow - as it will be on Monday.

"So, the sooner the better for those businesses that have been significantly impacted now for a full 22 months."

Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) said the recommendations from NPHET last night had been eagerly awaited by the entire hospitality and late-night sectors “for a long, long time”.

“Hopefully the Government will now move swiftly and there will be no delays to the full reopening and the scrapping of hospitality restrictions," he said.

“Hospitality is ready and waiting to open our doors this weekend. If the Government gives the green light then the recovery of the hospitality and night time sectors could begin as early as Friday night,” he added.

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