Pubs that do not serve food do not know where they stand with regard to guidelines for reopening, the Dail has heard.
A number of TDs asked Taoiseach Micheal Martin to fast-track the decision regarding the pubs reopening on July 20, and to release the guidelines for publicans.
Independent TD Michael McNamara said small businesses need to know when to order in stock as the planned reopening is less than one week away.
“You can’t tell them on Monday morning that they can open at 10 o’clock- they need to know in advance. When will the statutory instrument which will govern this be published?” he asked.
Fianna Fail TD Jackie Cahill said he has been contacted by numerous publicans who have voiced their frustration and worry about the lack of advice provided to them and what they must do to prepare.
Hw said: “I understand public safety is paramount and we must do everything in our power to safeguard it but a concrete plan is needed for publicans in order for them to reopen safely.”
Independent TD Michael Collins said publicans are “at the end of their tether” due to the uncertainty around reopening.
He added: “Stocks need to be ordered, they needed to be reordered yesterday for next week. Some took the gamble by ordering and more did not because they don’t know where they stand.
“There’s 50,000 jobs on the line and people need clarity and they need to know if they can open on Monday and if they can reorder stock.”
In response, Mr Martin said the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is meeting on Tuesday to discuss whether Ireland can move to Phase Four of the road map and if pubs that do not serve food can reopen on Monday.
He said: “There are other issues arising in terms of the virus itself and its activity levels and all that has to be taken in the round. We will get the advice today and we will make a decision for tomorrow. I understand the points about giving people guidance and giving them time to prepare.”
Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned against assuming NPHET would recommend moving to the final phase of the country’s reopening on July 20, under which all pubs can resume trading.
“I think we are concerned about the increase in cases over the last five days,” he said on Monday.
Mr Martin added while pubs remain closed, he is concerned about the prevalence of house parties and large gatherings.
“I said earlier, of more danger than anything is 30 people being in a house.. we’re going to have to do something about that…or 60 people in a house or at parties,” he said.