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Wicklow pubs brace for ‘nightmare scenario’ if lockdown persists

Publicans in Wicklow and all over the country are fearing the worst for their businesses as they wait out for a coronavirus vaccine that seems too far in the distance.

Reacting to recent comments by Health Minister Simon Harris stating that pubs would not be able to open until a vaccine was secured first, The Licensed Vintners Association have claimed that many publicans won’t be able to weather the long wait and may have to shut their doors for good.

A vaccine for the coronavirus is expected to be finalized by 2021.

LVA Chief Executive Donal O’Keeffe said “But if closing pubs until 2021 is going to be necessary then it is essential that a pub-specific support scheme is introduced. Otherwise there won’t be a pub industry in this country by the time a vaccine is found.”

Commenting on the government support for the 50,000 staff laid off as the crisis began, he said “This will have to be extended for the duration of the pub closure period. However unless it is supplemented with a specific support scheme to keep the pubs themselves afloat, the staff will have no jobs to return to.”

All mass gatherings, including outdoor festivals such as Electric Picnic, have been cancelled as a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus.

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