Industry protests 'De Facto Lockdown'

Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said what the Government announced is a “devastating blow” and an 8pm curfew is a “defacto lockdown”.

“Government must implement an emergency hospitality support package,” he said.

The Vintners Federation of Ireland called the move the “final gut punch for the sector”.

Its chief executive Padraig Cribben said: “The reality is this decision will decimate the trade that was already on its knees.

Christmas was the one chance we had to recoup some of the losses amassed earlier in the year but we’re now in a situation where staff will lose their jobs and pubs will shut one week before Christmas as they see little point in opening under these conditions.

The Licenced Vintners Association, which represents Dublin pubs, called the 8pm curfew “closure in camouflage”.

Its CEO Donall O’Keeffe said: “Most of our members will now take the decision to shut their doors as they simply won’t be able to afford operating in these conditions.

""Many pubs have been expressing the view that they would rather be asked to close than have to accept an arbitrary curfew of 5pm or 8pm.