Drinks Ireland, which represents drinks suppliers and manufacturers across the country, has launched a new #OpeningTime campaign to highlight the need to give pubs the opportunity to reopen safely at the start of December.

Drinks Ireland is urging the Government to base decisions around the reopening of the hospitality sector fairly and based on evidence, research and data.

Drinks Ireland said that while Christmas will be completely different this year, meaning the experience in the hospitality sector will also be very different, pubs will work hard to keep everyone safe, giving customers the opportunity to connect with the people they love, in a place they love.

Studies of the virus around the world show only limited examples of spread in hospitality venues. According to official data, fewer than 2% of cases in Austria during October were tied to hospitality venues, while only 1.4% of all cases in the Netherlands were traced back to bars and restaurants. In Ireland, just 0.3% of COVID 19 outbreaks have been linked to pubs to date, according to the HSE/HPSC’s epidemiological data.

Drinks Ireland also urged the Government not to discriminate between pubs that serve food and don’t serve food, as it did in the past.

It also stated that there is no reason for Ireland to be treated as an outlier in the EU.

Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland said: “The hospitality and wider experience sector employs 330,000 people, many of whom are young people. In the longer-term, the sector can play a crucial role in the economic recovery which will follow this pandemic, as it did during the recovery of the last economic crisis, when it accounted for one in every seven jobs created.

“Businesses have continued to implement the Government’s COVID 19 measures, adhering to the Level 5 restrictions, which for pubs meant closing completely or remaining shut. The December trading period will be a final lifeline for many pubs, who are ready and able to welcome customers back. It’s #OpeningTime.”

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