3,438 pubs have yet to open across the country, according to the Vintners Federation of Ireland, 180 of them in Donegal.
They are expected to open in 10 days time, but say they haven’t yet received guidelines on what they have to do before that.
Monday week next, July 20th has been flagged as the day when pubs can reopen, but publicans in rural areas are concerned.
The VFI says they still don’t know how they will need to adapt their businesses to ensure they comply with the public health requirements.
The federation says the delay is causing anxiety in some rural communities, with many of these unopened pubs serving as the only gathering locations or hospitality venues in their area.
Most of the unopened pubs are in rural areas. Donegal is the county with the sixth highest number of premises yet to open with 180. The others are Cork, Galway, Tipperary, Kerry, and Mayo.
One publican said for most rural pubs, the bar counter is where all the action is, but they don’t even know if bar stools will be allowed. If they’re not, the impact on small pubs could be massive.