Comment by Drinks Industry Group of Ireland on the Government’s decision to reopen pubs on 21 September:

“The Government’s decision to reopen the full pub trade in Ireland on 21 September, is a welcome relief for the drinks and hospitality industry.  

“However, the future of many of the sector’s businesses still remains under threat, with many still unsure if they can recuperate from the damage caused over the past six months. 

“After enduring the longest lockdown in the EU, Ireland’s pub trade has suffered from some of the most detrimental impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ability to finally reopen doors will be the first step towards recovery.  

“While the physical reopening of businesses was always going to be first on the agenda, the future of the drinks and hospitality industry needs to be protected by longer-term strategies and supports that can enable these businesses to not only reopen, but to recover.  

“Ahead of Budget 2021, the Government must give due consideration to the current constraints that exist within the drinks and hospitality sector, and how measures such as a 15% reduction in excise tax, which is the second highest in the EU, can help to create economical environments in which the pub trade can survive.  

“Ensuring that our pubs can reopen with a fighting chance of survival needs to be the priority going forward.”