Meadow View Inn proprietor Declan Sheridan, is confident that his indoor trade and the enhanced outdoor experience will both appeal to customers and visitors.

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CHEERS Publicans will take new laws in their stride

The owner of a popular Cavan Town pub and restaurant has welcomed the drafting of Government legislation to use the new Digital Covid Certificate to reopen pubs and restaurants for indoor service.

Indoor hospitality is now due to reopen for certificate holders and their children under 18 years no later than July 26.

Declan Sheridan, the proprietor of the popular Meadow View Inn in Cavan Town, has welcomed the move to facilitate the reopening of the hospitality sector as a whole.

The certs, which will primarily be used for international travel within the EU from July 19 onwards, began issuing to fully vaccinated persons via email yesterday (Tuesday).

It’s understood that pub and restaurant managers will be required to seek the Digital Covid Certificate before permitting customers indoors. It will confirm their Covid status – ie that they are fully vaccinated or have had Covid in the past six months, thereby providing some immunity.

Mr Sheridan, who has been trading since outdoor service was permitted, says he has been policing the regulations in his premises all along.

As such, he says: “We will take the immunity requirement in our stride.”

He believes 90% of publicans shouldn’t have any difficulty in policing the new regulations, as they are well used to upholding licensing laws such as their responsibility to demand ID to prevent underage drinking.

The certs can be downloaded onto a smart phone or printed out. “It will not be a very hard job to do these checks and it is great to see pubs opening again,” he enthused.

The Meadowview intends to employ certified security personnel to police the door and perform the checks on the passport/certificate in a professional, efficient and courteous manner.

“If some people try to pull the wool over the eyes of the security personnel, they will have to suffer the consequences and the fines are laid out in the new legislation, which will be going before the Dáil,” he said.

It’s understood those found guilty of faking the cert face fines of up to €2,000 on conviction.

Mr Sheridan said his own outdoor dining project has been a great success thus far. He finds that customers adhere to all the guidelines and seating arrangements in place to ensure the relevant social distance.

He admits being a bit sceptical about how outdoor service would work at the outset, given challenges around weather and table service.

“I have since found that, once you get good weather, it is very rewarding. Customers and visitors expressed their satisfaction with the expansive covered outdoor areas we have put in place at the Meadow View Inn. Even when indoor dining happens, I think a high percentage of people will opt to sit outside in good weather,” said Mr Sheridan.

He explained that his outdoor dining space will compliment the indoor offering and he expects it to be very busy as a consequence of operating both in tandem.

Mr Sheridan feels, while the lockdown was hard on the industry, it forced those in the hospitality to rethink their facilities and invest in improving them.

“If there was no lockdown, I would not have embarked upon the projects that I now have in place in terms of covered outdoor spaces,” he says.

“Now as a result of the good vibe from the public about the outdoor facilities, I will be embarking upon another project to put a large proper conservatory in place,” outlined Mr Sheridan of his own plans.

He is also considering putting a large beer garden in place. “This thinking outside the box is one good thing that has come out of the lockdown,” he said.