Publicans say they will need substantial State support, after being told that they cannot re-open next Monday.
The Government has delayed phase four of the easing of restrictions, after health officials voiced concern at a rise in the reproductive rate.
Pubs are now due to open on August 10th, but that date could slip further.
NPHET’s warning about the potential dangers associated with opening pubs means there was little surprise when the government announced last night that Monday won’t see phase four of the easing of COIVD-19 restrictions.
An increase in cases, and in the reproductive rate of the virus, means pubs that are not serving food, nightclubs and casinos now won’t be able until August 10th at the earliest.
Facemasks will also be made mandatory in all shops from Monday, and gatherings of more than 10 people in a home are banned.
The existing guidelines on large public gatherings will remain in place until then too.
The Chief Executive of the UL Hospitals Group has welcomed the move, saying that while cases are low in the midwest, the virus is still present and there are concerns that people will relax social distancing.
Colette Cowan is warning that COVID-19 is a nasty disease and she insists that everyone should stay on alert.
The announcement has been met with disappointment from within the industry.
The Vintners Federation of Ireland’s calling for grants of up to 50,000 euro per pub and a reduction in VAT on alcohol due to the delayed reopening.
David O’Brien from Michael A’s Bar in Miltown Malbay says bills are mounting for businesses in the pub trade, and support will be needed.
Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD insists the Government’s decision to delay phase four was a necessary one.
Cathal Crowe says every effort will be made to ensure support is provided to pubs in the July stimulus package, which is due to be announced on Monday.
And this afternoon, there came a fresh warning for publicans, as the Tanaiste warned that there is no guarantee that pubs can re-open in three weeks.
Leo Varadkar has told the Dáil that while he wants pubs to be able to re-open, the date could be further deferred in the interests of public health.