The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has said that the ability to reopen for indoor hospitality will come with “relief, hope and nervousness” for many in the hospitality sector.
This comes as some Dublin pubs get ready to reopen their door for the first time in 497 consecutive days.
The LVA also acknowledged that this will be a difficult period for everyone in the hospitality sector and are calling on their members and the public to ensure they carefully implement the new rules.
“Being allowed to provide indoor service will come with a mixture of relief, hope and nervousness for many in the hospitality sector, especially those pubs in Dublin who have not been able to open their doors for the last 497 days,” said Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA.
“The relief of trading will undoubtedly be tinged with trepidation. There are a lot of mixed feelings about reopening and what it’s going to mean in terms of handling difficult customers and protecting the welfare of staff.
“For many in our sector this is not the way we wanted to reopen, but unfortunately it is the only option on the table. All our members and other hospitality businesses must clearly understand that they have to do everything they can to ensure the new guidelines are thoroughly followed and enforced. We would also ask the members of the public to work with the sector in helping us to make a success of these measures.
“All hospitality premises should know that any business that flout the rules have the book thrown at them. This is far too important.
“Businesses taking chances pose risks to public health and also endanger the future of our sector. Everyone who is trading has to follow the guidelines.
“Of course the reopening of indoor hospitality is only the next step in this process. Our sector still has some way to go before we are operating normally.
“After all, we were told these were ‘temporary measures’. In the weeks ahead as the vaccine rollout progresses there will be a need for this system and the guidelines to be reviewed. There is still a long road ahead before our sector is truly back on track,” Mr. O’Keeffe concluded.