PUB OWNERS in Ireland claim they won't be able to survive if they're forced to lock down again after the Christmas period.
Vintners Federation of Ireland chief executive Padraig Cribben has warned that it isn't practical for pubs to open for the festive period, only to close down again a week or so later.
"There are substantial costs in opening up and even greater costs in closing down - loss of draught stock, etc, that make short periods of trading unviable," Mr Cribben told the Irish Independent.
"It also causes great stress for publicans and staff alike.
"Why would staff want to come off the PUP (pandemic unemployment payment) for a short period and then face the anguish and delays of getting back on?" he asked.
A Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) spokesperson insisted that whatever decision is made on the opening and closing of pubs, the rules must apply to all pubs universally, and there cannot be a distinction made between wet pubs and pubs that serve food.
"That will create pressure, because then you're going to have less pubs open across the country, you’re going to have some towns and villages across the country that have no pubs open whatsoever," said the spokesperson.
"There should be no effort made to exclude the food pubs from the traditional pubs and any move along those lines would be breaking the commitments made by the acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn," they added.
Ireland is set to exit lockdown on December 1, at which point pubs are expected to reopen, but with restrictive measures in place.
There's hope that the country could move to Level Two before Christmas, allowing for pubs to open up even more in the time for the holidays, but nothing will be confirmed until closer to the time.
On Monday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the Government will be reviewing the takeaway pint system after a number of revellers were spotted flouting lockdown rules on the streets of Dublin and Cork over the weekend.