The VFI is recommending that pubs in Galway City close for the next two weeks in an effort to combat the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.
The government issued guidelines that any indoor gatherings with over 100 people should be cancelled, but said that shops, pubs, and restaurants can remain open.
The HSE has also said that people should practice social distancing, keeping a space of 2m between yourself and other people in order to limit the ability of the virus to spread through contact.
However the Vintners Federation of Ireland has now said that this has proven impossible to enforce, and is recommending that its members should close outright.
Since the government’s announcement last Thursday that all pubs and restaurants could remain open subject to implementing social distancing guidelines, we as publicans have tried our best to work within those guidelines,” said Tom McDonagh, VFI Galway City Chairman.
“Over the past couple of days, it has become obvious that keeping a safe distance between customers is extremely difficult to achieve,” he added.
“Therefore we are recommending to our members to close all Galway city pubs today for the next two weeks to protect our staff and customers as the nation battles Coronavirus.”
Minister for Health Simon Harris described a video circulating on social media of a packed pub in Temple Bar as an insult to healthcare workers.
The Taoiseach has said that he may seek enforcement powers from the Oireachtas in relation to the ban on mass gatherings.