Statement from Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) Chief Executive Padraig Cribben:
“The general sense from talking to publicans around the country is they’re happy to be open and meeting old regulars. Publicans are by their nature outgoing people and the pub is more a way of life than a job, so to be closed for so long was very difficult for their mental health.
“For now, our members are getting used to the new normal. Mondays are typically quiet in the pub trade but the novelty of reopening has seen a busy trade in some parts of the country.
“We’ll have to wait until after the weekend to get a proper feel for how customers are responding. Our members have put huge effort into making their pubs safe with proper social distancing and hygiene measures so our hope is the public respond with the confidence to venture out.
“While there is a huge sense of relief amongst publicans to be open after six months, they worry that further closures may occur in the future if, like Dublin, their county moves to Level Three.”