Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Three of Ireland’s major drinks companies have criticised the decision to keep wet pubs in Dublin closed with pubs in 25 counties set to open on September 21st as planned.

Diageo, Heineken and Coors have labelled the Government’s decision “unfair and disproportionate”. All three companies are members of Drinks Ireland.

Drinks Ireland is currently running an #OpeningTime campaign calling for all pubs to be opened safely and sustainably from September 21st.

We have now endured four ‘false starts’ since July.

The decision not to allow wet pubs in Dublin to reopen was made following NPHET advice over the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the capital.

New figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) show Dublin has a 14 day incidence rate of new cases of Covid-19 of 104.0, which is twice the national average of 53.0.

Maarten Schuurmam, managing director of Heineken Ireland said: “In our view, the decision to keep Dublin’s wet pubs closed is wrong. No other European market has kept its pubs and bars closed this long. Dublin pubs must be given the same opportunity as the rest of the Irish and European hospitality sector to demonstrate that they too can open in a safe and responsible manner.

“As a proud partner of the pub trade, we have played our part in supporting the sector by investing in the collection and sustainable repurposing the beer over the past 6 months. However, yesterday’s decision is hugely damaging for pubs, drinks suppliers and the wider economy of the city and country.”

Oliver Loomes, the managing director of Diageo Ireland and chair of Drinks Ireland said: “We have been committed to supporting our pub customers in Dublin and around the country and have demonstrated this time and time again over the past few months, from cleaning beer lines and collecting unused kegs, to providing extended credit and creating a €14 million support fund for bars.

“We have now endured four ‘false starts’ since July and the ongoing approach of discriminating against wet pubs is unfair and inconsistent with the public health approach in the rest of Europe. It is essential Dublin publicans get the same opportunity as bar owners in every other capital in Europe to open in a safe and sustainable way.”

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