The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has called on the government to include plans to allow late night venues to reopen as part of it sreopening roadmap.
It is estimated that there are over 300 late night venues and late pubs throughout the country, many of which have remained completely closed since March 2020.
An additional 5,000 – 6,000 jobs are dependent on the reopening of the late night hospitality. Late pubs and nightclubs also provide venues for a significant number of live musicians and DJs. Nightclubs have already reopened in England, Scotland and Wales.
The LVA is also pressing the Government to include details for the resumption of regular service in hospitality settings as part of the new roadmap, taking into account the continued success of the vaccination programme.
Among the measures the LVA is seeking are the return of the use of the bar counter, allowing capacity limits to return to pre pandemic levels, resumption of normal trading hours and permitting customer movement around pubs – including standing, mingling and dancing. Presently all these measures are banned.
“With more than 85% of the adult population already fully vaccinated and further progress to be made in the coming weeks, now is the time to start planning for hospitality to return to normal trading,” said Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA. “That will mean the return of late night pubs and nightclubs, who offer significant employment around the country. These are also key venues for the recovery of the music sector, with many of these late pubs and nightclubs providing platforms for live musicians and DJs to perform. Music is part of Irish hospitality and Irish life, so its return to hospitality settings is long overdue.
“As we move closer and closer to reaching practically full vaccination, a time is coming when there will be no practical argument for the imposition of the restrictions on hospitality,” Mr. O’Keeffe said.