Some 349 pubs have closed since the epidemic began, with industry representatives warning of the ongoing crisis in the sector amid doubts over October 22, when full restrictions will be lifted.
Here there has been a 5 pcs drop in the number of pub licenses issued as those in the hospitality business struggle to stay afloat in the face of the plague.
The data, taken from an analysis of license renewals issued by the Revenue Commissioner, revealed the full impact of the problems facing the sector.
In Dublin alone there were 33 public homes closed with 37 in Cork, 33 in the dongle and 22 in Cree. The data revealed the decrease in licenses when compared in January 2020 compared to September 2021.
Referring to the data, both the Irish Winners Association (VFI) and the Licensed Goldsmiths Association (LVA) say it is now deciding that all restrictions will be lifted on 22 October, as originally planned.
Both bodies say that given the number of vaccines of over 90 units among those over the age of 18, they would like to see the government reopen light night accommodation and discontinue compulsory table service.
This coming Friday, October 22, nightclubs and late bars will be closed for 585 consecutive days since the onset of the plague. According to them, the use of a system for vaccines will help support the safe reopening of the sector.
“These new figures reveal Cubid’s dramatic impact on trade in the last 19 months. Losing 5 units of pubs in such a short period of time is unprecedented and highlights how pub trade has pushed the limits,” said Pedragon Craven, CEO of VFI.
“In light of recent speculation about the delay in ending the restrictions, the knowledge that pubs are closing across the country will only increase trade anxiety.
“Uncertainty is a key factor in why so many pubs have closed, so the government must end the crisis by announcing that restrictions will continue as planned.”
LVA CEO Donald O’Keefe said the expectation was high ahead of Oct. 22 as “Republicans are desperate to return to normal trading.”
“These pubs have closed even with government support. We think the reopening of late night hospitality, the return of the reception desk, the termination of compulsory table service and the usual trading services should continue this coming Friday,” he said.
“If access is restricted to people who have been vaccinated there is no justification not to proceed with the relief of the other restrictions.”