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Publicans hope for 1m social distancing

June 20th, 2020 8:00 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Adrienne MacCarthy is looking forward to re-opening her pub in Castletownbere on Monday, June 29th.

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PUBLICANS in West Cork have welcomed the draft guidelines issued for pubs that serve food who are due to re-open on June 29th.

However, both the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said the ‘drip feed’ release of information is creating more questions than answers. They have also questioned why guidelines for all pubs have not been published.

‘Pubs who serve food are due to re-open on Monday week, but they still don’t have clarity as to what will be required of them. To avoid any further uncertainty, the guidelines for the industry should be published in full. We need to know what will be required of pubs on June 29th and what will be required of pubs on July 20th, it’s that simple,’ said Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of LVA.

Having received guidance from the Health Protection Surveillance Centres (HPSC), Fáilte Ireland is set to publish a document in the coming days to offer guidelines to publicans. The guidelines include a potential reduction of the current two metre physical distancing restriction to one metre in certain circumstances, pre-booking tables and a maximum length of stay of 90 minutes with a minimum spend of €9 on food.

Adrienne McCarthy, who will be re-opening the popular MacCarthy’s Bar at the Square in  Castletownbere at the end of the month said  she has already received a few bookings for tables.

‘If it does come down to one metre I would feel a lot more confident, but I will open on the 29th because we do serve food just for limited hours and we just have to see how it goes,’ said Adrienne.

‘It will be a challenge but I’m quite excited about it.’

In Clonakilty, Kevin O’Donovan of Scannell’s Bar has welcomed the draft guidelines for pubs like his that serve food.

‘I think that guideline is more in place to give businesses a chance to be profitable  rather than a health measure. Also the one-metre spacing is vital as we would go from five tables to seven tables inside,’ said Kevin. ‘The maximum stay aspect would suit us and other food outlets regarding table turnover and would help businesses survive.’

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