All pubs and hotel bars are to close from this evening (Sunday) until at least March 29th following instruction from the Government.
Discussions between the Licenced Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) took place on Sunday. Following this, the Government has called on all public houses and bars which also includes hotel bars to close from Sunday evening “until at least” March 29th.
Both the LVA and VFI detailed the real difficulty in implementing the published Guidelines on social distancing in a public house setting. For the same reason, the Government is also calling on all members of the public not to organise or participate in any parties in private houses or other venues which would put other peoples’ health at risk. The Government, having consulted with the Chief Medical Officer, believes that this is an essential public health measure given the reports of reckless behaviour by some members of the public in certain pubs last night.
A Government spokesperson outlined that it was important the closures were done in advance of St Patrick’s Day. The decision was supported by the LVA and VFI who said 15,000 jobs are gone overnight as a result.
Support measures were also discussed for businesses and staff affected by the Covid-19 crisis. “The Government will continue to monitor the situation, including the compliance of all pubs with this request, as well as any further or different measures which might be required in the future. The effectiveness of the Guidelines on Social Distancing in other parts of the hospitality and leisure industry, for example restaurants and cinemas, will also be kept under review and subject to further consultation with stakeholders in the coming days”.
Some Clare pubs had already led the way in announcing their closure before the Government recommendation. These included, Michael As (Miltown Malbay), The Sports Bar (Newmarket-on-Fergus), The Goal Post Bar (Shannon), The Gastro Bar (Killaloe), The Greyhound Bar (Sixmilebridge), Flanagan’s Bar (Lahinch), McHughs (Ennis), Lucas Bar (Ennis), Considines (Ennis), Knoxs (Ennis).