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Irish Pub update: Bosses demand reopening plans for meals inside bars and restaurants


Publicans are now asking the government to set July 19 as the new reopening date.

The call from the tax collectors came as HSE boss Paul Reid revealed that the entire adult population could be vaccinated by the end of August.

Vintners Federation of Ireland chief executive Padraig Cribben said the viability of many pub businesses depends on reopening in two weeks.

He said: “One of the things we want to be absolutely sure of is that we don’t want a plan to be available by the 19th. We want a plan to be achievable by the 19th. , because this part of the season is intrinsic to the viability of our businesses. “

He also told RTÉ’s This Week show that it was not clear whether the government’s pub and restaurant passport system would be legal.

Mr Cribben will meet with government and health officials today on Monday and insisted that the NPHET be there.

He said: “It’s very important that we have people from NPHET there. There’s no point in us making a plan and then having it shot down by NPHET.

“We will tell them what we told them last Wednesday, which is that we do not think the system they are talking about is viable. It is discriminatory.

“We have serious legal concerns in terms of equality, discrimination and GDPR. This will lead to a situation where families will be divided.

“There is also the contradiction that our staff, many of whom are young, will be able to serve an eight hour shift, but when their shift is over, they will not be able to sit down for a pint and something to eat. .

“The bottom line is that we don’t think it’s achievable.

Separately, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the further scale-up of the vaccination program could see the entire adult population receiving a vaccine by the end of August.

06/07/2021 Karl Bradshaw bartender at the Grogans pub following a reopening of outdoor pubs and restaurants due to an easing of Covid 19 Cornavirus restrictions in downtown Dublins. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins

He told This Week that changes in the guidance for using the Janssen and AstraZeneca single-dose vaccines for young people as well as the one million extra doses imported from Romania could speed up the program significantly.

He said: “At the end of the day, if we can get over all of this, it could take us back to late August, early September. This is where it could get us if it all comes together, the participation is as we project it, there are a few variables in that.

The HSE chief said every 37,500 injections given equals another percent of the fully immunized population.

“It really gives us about five percent more potential to compete in July. It’s very important to us in terms of full vaccine completion,” he said.

While the government has been criticized for Ireland being the only state in the EU unable to provide a digital certificate for travel, Mr Reid said the HSE is ready to provide data as to whether a person has been vaccinated or recently had Covid-19 for this digital document.

He added that such information available to the HSE could also be provided in the future for any pass to enter a pub or restaurant to dine inside, but he said this should be “a political decision for the government”.

He said: “This is a call for government policy, but I have no doubt that the data we would provide would be a critical part of any other use, be it a home process. But the data would certainly confirm a previous test and vaccination. “

Mr Reid said 120,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine will be distributed to 850 pharmacies across the country this week.

This decision came after a change of opinion from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (Niac) allowing people aged 18 to 34 to receive a vaccine.

In the same program, Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said antigen testing “could” play a role in helping reopen the hotel sector.

He said: “There are, I think, six countries in the EU at the moment that allow indoor dining based on people showing they are either vaccinated, or cured of Covid, or they tested negative using an antigen test. “

“We are looking at these countries and how they work and how successful they are, and of course, we also talk to the industry to make sure that whatever we decide to do next, we do it in consultation with them to make sure it works. .

“We will continue to work with all stakeholders to make the right decisions over the next few weeks, and we hope to be able to reopen the indoor business in a proper and safe manner.

“We will definitely have a decision by July 19, and we would certainly like to act on that decision as soon as possible.”

It is believed that the certificate is likely to take the form of a QR (quick response) code on a smartphone.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Simon Coveney
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Simon Coveney

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