Longford pubs on alert as gardaí set for major Covid-19 weekend offensive

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Covid-19

Gardaí are to roll out a major weekend offensive designed to ensure pubs which serve food are not flouting Covid-19 health and safety guidelines

Gardaí are to launch a countywide operation from this evening and throughout the weekend aimed at ensuring pubs operating as restaurants adhere to Covid-19 health and safety regulations.

The Leader understands officers from the Longford Garda district will be out in force across the county in a bid to uphold newly introduced guidelines which allowed licensed premises that serve food open on Monday.

Under the new rules, pubs which offer "substantial" meals costing not less than €9 were given the green light to reopen this week.

Strict guidelines on capacity and social distancing are also in place, while diners will only be allowed to remain in the pub for 105 minutes.

Longford Superintendent Jim Delaney said the move was not designed to inhibit businesses looking to get back on a level financial footing after nearly three months closed, but rather to uphold revised government guidelines concerning liquor licensing requirements.

"It's directly as a result of policy which has been sent down from the (Garda) Commissioner (Drew Harris)," he told the Leader.

Industry representatives, meanwhile, have warned publicans to be mindful of their responsibilities in enforcing public health guidelines, adding that failing to do so could jeopardise their chances of renewing their licences later this year.