Local publicans don’t mind what guidelines are in place as long as they can reopen their doors, or at least that’s the view of Gerry Lynn of the Sportsman Inn in Edgeworthstown.
Local pubs closed their doors last March due to Covid-19 and have had their reopening postponed several times since the government announced its five phases for reopening the country. They have finally been given the go-ahead to reopen from September 21.
“I don’t mind what restrictions there are at this stage, I just want to reopen my door. We wouldn’t have big crowds in the pub, except maybe on a Saturday night, but we’d be able to come up with a plan for that,” Mr Lynn told the Longford Leader on Monday.
“We’re coming into a quiet time and, if they don’t open in the next few weeks, a lot of pubs will be in trouble because they can’t afford to stay closed for much longer.
“You hear the government speaking about rural Ireland but look what they’re doing to local pubs. There are some places in rural Ireland that only have a pub and a church.
“The pub is where people in rural Ireland do their lotto, their christenings, the afters of their weddings. If they lose that, we’re in trouble.”
Guidelines released by the government in the past week listed a number of restrictions for ‘wet pubs’ when opening, including an 11.30pm closing time, a one metre social distancing rule and new glasses for every drink.