The Government are ‘happy to destroy the pubs of this country’ with new reported rules regarding chefs and dedicated kitchens, a representative body for pubs said.
Reports emerged on Wednesday morning that the Government was considering introducing rules which would only allow pubs with chefs working in kitchens on the premises to open after Level 5.
This would stop pubs, which don’t have kitchens or chefs, but had teamed up with local restaurants and takeaways to provide food, to open after December 1.
The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), which represents pubs and restaurants in Dublin, reacted with fury at the reports.
Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA said: ‘Where is the evidence that “wet” pubs pose a greater risk than restaurants or food pubs?
‘Where is the evidence that people are more likely to catch Covid-19 if they don’t have a €9 meal? Where is the evidence that people are less likely to be infected if the meal they have was prepared in a dedicated kitchen rather than coming from a nearby pizzeria?
‘There is no data to support these measures, this is a political decision with the Government showing they are happy to destroy the pubs of this country.
‘The Government’s own guidelines have the same social distancing measures and time limits in place for “wet” pubs, food pubs and restaurants.
‘Yet they are pursuing policies which will only keep the “wet” pubs closed and ensure that more venues are classified as “wet” pubs.
‘If all these different types of venue have to have the same social distancing, time limits and implement table service only how is one more dangerous than the other?’
He went on to say that the Governemtn ‘don’t trust the publicans of this country’ and that
‘trust in this Government has been eroding for some time’.