THE IRISH Government will only allow pubs to open after lockdown if they have a kitchen and dedicated chefs, according to reports.
The news will be a devastating blow to pubs around the country, many of whom are only just keeping their necks above water following almost nine months of forced closures.
The Government's supposed plans have been slammed by publicans and representatives of the hospitality industry, who feel that their petty treatment of 'wet pubs' isn't backed by any science.
Allowing only pubs with dedicated chefs and kitchens to open on December 1 guarantees that pubs which are unable to serve food won't be allowed to open.
During the summer, the Government introduced the "substantial meal" rule, where pubs could only open if they could offer customers a meal worth €9 or over.
Some 'wet' pubs managed to find a way around the rule though, by teaming up with local restaurants and takeaways to provide food.
But the Government appears to be trying to put a stop to this, much to the fury of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), who claim they have demonstrated a happiness in "destroying" Ireland's pubs.
"Where is the evidence that 'wet' pubs pose a greater risk than restaurants or food pubs?" Asked LVA Chief Executive Donall O'Keeffe.
"Where is the evidence that people are more likely to catch Covid-19 if they don't have a €9 meal?
"Where is the evidence that people are less likely to be infected if the meal they have was prepared in a dedicated kitchen rather than coming from a nearby pizzeria?
"There is no data to support these measures, this is a political decision with the Government showing they are happy to destroy the pubs of this country."
Mr O'Keeffe went on to say that the Government doesn't trust pub owners, pub staff or pub customers in Ireland.