Publicans are pressing the Government for a strong support package for pubs who cannot yet open due to public health guidelines.

Funding is urgently required for pubs now closed for over 5 months, according to the Vintners Federation of Ireland.

Last week, the Government announced that pubs not serving food must remain closed until at least the end of this month - and this was the second time the reopening had been delayed.

It means 3,500 pubs employing some 25,000 people across the country have been closed for at least 168 days.

The VFI is not optimistic that pubs will be allowed to reopen at the end of August, in light of recent Covid trends, and says it's critical that a support package is announced for the pub industry.

This package should include providing direct financial aid to pubs that are closed by Government order.

The VFI says the grant should be calculated on a pro-rata weekly basis to pubs, for as long as they must stay closed, and would range from €270 to €1,650 weekly, depending on the rateable valuation of the premises.

Publicans are also calling for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to be maintained at current rates for all closed pubs, until they reopen, and for an extension of current licences for one year until Sept 2021 - except for any licence renewals which Gardai intend to object to in September.

Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, says the need for a support package for pubs has been directly conveyed to the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and senior Ministers. He says the clear preference for publicans is to reopen, but if the Government won't let them, then these pubs need special support.

 

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