Ireland Extends “Wet” Pub Closures, to Support Affected Owners

As Ireland extends shutdown of pubs, the government announced a support package for affected owners.

Ireland is dedicating $19 million to support local pubs and bars, announced by the Department of Business on August 28. This move comes as health officials in the country decided to keep establishments, such as bars that do not serve food, to remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, per a CNN report.

Help for the Pub Owners

As businesses like pubs, bars, and nightclubs are still temporarily closed in the country, with no definite time of resuming operations, the Irish government decided to help business owners. Part of their assistance to the pub owners is waiving license fees for this year, per CNN World.

The government package to be offered to pub owners is likewise expected to help their businesses on reopening, once allowed. Cash support will range between $6,700 to $41,700.

Pandemic-Caused Shutdowns

Authorities on August 28 said that “wet” pubs are to remain closed amid increasing coronavirus infections. Those pubs and bars that are forced to close are those not serving food besides alcoholic beverages. Such comprises almost half of the 7,000 Irish pubs.

The decision will further push back plans for pubs and similar businesses from reopening for the third time. Meanwhile, pubs that are also serving foods were allowed to operate back in June. Per the country’s acting chief medical officer, Dr. Ronan Glynn, told the press: “We want pubs to reopen in a safe way. But since the end of June, we have seen a slow and steady deterioration of the profile of this disease in this country.”

According to Irish Deputy Premier Leo Varadkar, the past few months have been difficult for pub and bar owners. “Our publicans are making a massive sacrifice to protect their communities, and the government is determined to help.”

Cases in Ireland

Per a Department of Health data from Ireland, August 28 saw an additional 127 cases of coronavirus. It is on top of 93 confirmed cases from August 27. The body’s acting chief medical officer, Dr. Glynn, stated: “The cases, whilst not escalating rapidly, are continuing to escalate.”

Glynn added that they are “not contemplating a national lockdown” for now. “We certainly hope that we don’t get back to a situation like that, but ultimately the power to prevent that is each of our hands as individuals over the coming weeks.”

Phillip Malone

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