Ireland’s ‘wet pubs’ reopen, but Dublin boozers shut for three weeks

Drinks-only pubs have been closed since 15 March

Updated on 22 September 2020 • Written By Eamonn Crowe

Ireland’s ‘wet pubs’ reopen, but Dublin boozers shut for three weeks

Pubs across Ireland have finally reopened following months of forced closure due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but Dublin pubs have been ordered to stay shut.


The country’s ‘wet pubs’, those which serve drinks but do not serve food, were forced to close their doors on 15 March and had not been allowed to reopen since. Previously, wet pubs were slated to open their doors in August, but this was pushed back by the government following a rise in Covid-19 cases.

On 21 September, wet pubs were allowed to finally reopen their doors, but with strict social distancing measures in place. The new rules mean that pubs must operate a ‘table service only’ policy and that sitting or standing at the bar is strictly prohibited.

Groups can be made up of a maximum of six people from three different households, with tables required to be at least 1m distance apart. Furthermore, all pubs are required to close their doors at 11.30pm, while owners are expected to keep a log of customer’s names and contact details in case they are required to contact patrons following an outbreak of Covid-19 inside their venue.

Despite the good news for those in the hospitality sector, wet pubs in Dublin are required to remain closed for a further three weeks, following localised lockdown tactics in the capital. Dublin’s drinks-only pubs are allowed to serve punters outside if they have al fresco seating, but only in limited numbers.

Speaking about the reopening of the pubs, chief executive of Vintners’ Federation of Ireland Padraig Cribben said: “[This is] a good news story, particularly for publicans, their families and staff who have been out of work for six months”.

“This is also great news for our customers, particularly in rural areas, who can now come together in a safe, socially distanced, controlled environment. The mental health benefits this opportunity will offer people are enormous.”

For when Dublin’s pubs are allowed to reopen, here are 15 of our favourite Dublin pubs.