09/08/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/08/2020 07:50
8 September, 2020 - by Claire Kerrane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Community and Rural Development, Claire Kerrane TD, has welcomed that restrictions on so-called 'wet pubs' being open will be lifted on 21st September.
Teachta Kerrane said: 'I welcome the decision for pubs to reopen and the clarity this gives to publicans and their families at long last.
'In July, my colleague Pearse Doherty asked the Tánaiste to ask NPHET to consider the possibility of pubs which do not serve food being opened in the same way as pubs with food were operating. Finally, that approach does seem to be the one the Government are allowing pubs not offering food to proceed with now.
'Many pub owners have felt frustrated by the ongoing delay and confusion on this matter, while they have watched other areas of the economy reopen safely. I welcome that they will now have clarity, in order to plan and to give their staff certainty.
'I am confident that rural pub owners and their staff are determined to abide by all new regulations and are aware of their responsibilities to protect their customers and wider communities.
'Rural pubs have dedicated considerable time, resources and money to make their premises Covid compliant and they have been waiting to open and operate in that new manner for many months now.
'This is good news for many people in rural towns and villages who rely on the pub for socialising - for some people the pub is their only outlet to socialise and meet with their wider community.
'Sadly, the pandemic has seen an increase in feelings of loneliness and isolation across our communities and such feelings have been particularly acute in many rural areas. I welcome that today's developments will help ease some of that isolation and facilitate safe community socialising in rural towns and villages.'