Following a meeting on Tuesday between the Department of the Taoiseach and representatives of the hospitality sector, the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) reiterated its consistent stance that all guidelines must be followed by VFI members and the wider trade as society continues to deal with Covid.

At the meeting, government officials requested that trade associations assist with efforts to promote a message to the wider public that adherence to public health best practises remains of paramount importance.

VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben emphasised that while the vast majority of pubs are complying with the regulations, specifically the need to ask for proof of immunity, he said any venue found to be in breach of the guidelines needs to understand there will be sanctions.

“Publicans, the authorities and the wider public all need to work together to ensure we can return to normal life without restrictions as soon as possible. For the present, we all need to focus on compliance and awareness, all venues should continue checking for proof of immunity along with the other required measures while the public need to play their part through wearing masks and following the rules currently in place,” said Mr Cribben.

He also stated the enforcement powers of both the HSE and HSA need be used more widely. It is the VFI view that only a credible threat of enforcement will bring those flouting the law into line.