Over 4,000 pubs, employing around 25,000 staff in total, have reopened across Ireland as outdoor service resumes.

Publicans reported strong bookings for the first day back, with many pubs fully booked out a week in advance of the Bank Holiday. Some pubs reserved tables for ‘walks-ins’ to cater for customers on the day.

Padraig Cribben, Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) Chief Executive, said: “It’s a big day for the pub trade as 4,000 pubs are set to reopen for outdoor service. There is a strong sense of anticipation among publicans to get open and get back to what they do best. The message from publicans to old regulars and new customers alike is ‘we’ve missed you and welcome back’.

“The reopening for outdoor service will also see 25,000 staff return to work after an horrendous 15 months. Last year’s numerous lockdowns and partial reopening played havoc with their lives so it’s important staff have confidence that we are now on the path to a full reopening.

“For the vast majority of publicans, outdoor service will keep them ticking over until indoor trading resumes on 5th July. We’re acutely aware that thousands of our members cannot open this week at they have no outdoor space and will have to wait another four weeks to resume trading.

“We’re hoping for a busy summer once all pubs open. There is a sense in the trade that people want to get out of the house and meet up. To get pubs back open will be a great sign the country is returning to normal,” said Mr Cribben.

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