KCLR NewsNews & Sport

Kilkenny publican leads calls for earlier reopening date

It was announced last night that pubs can reopen on Monday July 5th, but the Vintners' Federation say that eliminates a crucial weekend of trade for them.

There are calls for local pubs to be allowed reopen indoors earlier than planned.

Under the easing of restrictions announced last night, indoor dining is set to return from July 5th.

However, the Vintners Federation of Ireland is urging the government to bring forward that date by four days- as they claim the first weekend of July is a crucial one for trade.

It’s one of just nine weekends across July and August that all pubs, even those with no outdoor space, can be open for this summer season.

Pubs can reopen for outdoor service from June 7th.

Gerry Rafter, of Kilkenny’s Rafter’s Gastro Pub, and a former VFI President, says that earlier reopening is a necessary measure after such a long closure.

“The Vintners are calling for a reopening of all pubs from July 1st, and I totally back that” he told KCLR News. “It’s been too long for businesses, whether family or non-family run businesses in the pub trade, to be without any income whatsoever.”

Gerry’s also calling for the 105 minute time limit for indoor service to be scrapped, as he believes the cap is unreasonable;

“I think it’s fair to drop it at this stage, with so many people having been vaccinated. It’s okay for some premises that have more tables and lots of space. But there are a lot small pubs across the country for whom space is an issue, and to have [the time limit] as well as the one metre distance between tables is a big call. For some people it won’t actually be feasible for them.”