PUBLICANS across Fermanagh remain sceptical over whether or not Stormont ministers will allow drink-only pubs to re-open next Friday (11 December).
Mark Edwards from Blakes of The Hollow told the Herald, “As it stands at the minute the Republic aren’t re-opening any wet-pubs as they come out of lockdown this week.”
Mark also revealed that with the ‘UK four government approach’ in
England, Scotland and Wales, all wet-led pubs will not be able to open until a Tier 1 is announced.
With concerns that drink-only pubs will not be open this side of
Christmas across the border and in other parts of the UK, Mark said ‘it’s not looking optimistic’ for here.
Despite this, Mark warned, “The importance of re-opening is obviously vital. The Christmas quarter for this month is potentially the biggest lift for wet-pubs and will see us through the quieter start of next year.”
He continued, “Without it, we’ll be starting off the new year in a
very challenging way.
“You’d like to think that there would be some sort of legislation and
that Stormont would give us guidance this week and not leave it to the last minute again.
“It takes a lot of preparation and time to get bars ready for
reopening. It’s very difficult and challenging waiting to see what the guidance will be for reopening and what the restrictions will be,
which have to be viable and feasible to make it worthwhile.”
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