The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) says the news that restricted trading hours are set to be reintroduced is a hugely disappointing development for the many late-night pubs and night clubs many of whom will now be forced to shut just three weeks after reopening.
Supports for businesses who will now have to shut must be introduced with immediate effect.
VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben says: “The decision to introduce a new closing time of midnight from this Thursday will effectively close many late night pubs and night clubs. It will also seriously restrict other outlets at the most critical time of the year. Given the deteriorating health situation it’s no surprise Government is forced to take action but it is disappointing that the hospitality sector is at forefront of those actions. Supports will now be vital for impacted businesses and we’re calling for the immediate reintroduction of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) for members who have to close.
“Restricted trading hours will also impact traditional pubs who have to cope with cancelled bookings ahead of what was meant to be a busy Christmas period as public health advice is to avoid social gatherings. Given the new curfew and reduced trade the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) must be maintained in full until all restrictions are removed.
“We were told back in August after indoor trade was reopened that restrictions would be fully removed in October. We’re now in a position where restrictions are actually getting tighter. Supports will be crucial in the months ahead, a fact Government needs to address immediately for the simple reason the trade cannot sustain another period of profound uncertainty,” concludes Mr Cribben.