Christmas lights were switched on in empty pubs across the island of Ireland at exactly 5pm this evening as part of a nationwide campaign to highlight pubs’ readiness to reopen safely.
Matthew Hughes, a publican in Ballinamore Bridge, East Galway, and his sister Pia Farrell, switched on the lights of Hughes bar, joining hundreds of pubs across the country in the campaign.
Many pubs across Ireland have been closed for most of 2020 due to harsh restrictions recommended by NPHET, which the group of advisers believed was necessary to control the spread of Covid-19.
But Publicans believe that they can reopen safely, and are asking the government to give them the opportunity to prove they can operate in a safe manner over the Christmas period.
Ireland’s 120-day Spring ‘lockdown’ was the longest in Europe by far for pubs and restaurants. In Finland, which had the second longest restrictions, pubs and restaurants were closed for 74 days.