Gardaí will continue to inspect pubs across the country today, to make sure Covid 19 guidelines are being adhered to.
Operation Navigation began at 7pm yesterday and will run until July 20th.
If Gardaí find someone in breach of the rules, that person could face prosecution.
Also, a publican could lose their license.
Additionally, Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said these checks were common at the beginning of lockdown.
"An Garda Síochána checked thousands of licensed premises to ensure they remained closed."
He added that, "the vast, vast majority did."
"Our intention in this latest phase was to conduct a large number of spot-checks of licensed premises."
However, he says, "it now appears that just a few days after their introduction some licensed premises and their customers are ignoring the public health guidelines."
"They are putting themselves and everyone they then come into contact with at risk of getting COVID-19."
"This is not acceptable.”
The Gardaí are checking on pubs in Dublin City Centre. Just witnessed a group of five walking down the street, two enter the pub and ask if there have been any issues with compliance.
— Ben Finnegan (@_BenFinnegan) July 4, 2020
Having Someone On The Door Helps
Dave Fitzpatrick is the leaseholder at the Lotts Pub on Dublin’s Liffey Street.
While he says its great the Gardaí are making sure everyone is following the rules:
"We've seen the Guards on the street at different times of the day."
"We haven't had any issues internally because we have someone at the door all the time."
"If someone comes up and isn't clear about coming in for a few pints and no meal, we're stopping that at the door."
"I'm happy that there's probably one or two places, I haven't heard but there's probably some flouting the law.
"But that only makes it worse for the rest of us."
"We're continuing with the practice of 105 minutes and only in for a main meal."
Welcome development as @GardaTraffic announce launch of 'Operation Navigation' from 7pm this evening. Licensed premises will be visited to ensure compliance with Public Health guidelines #COVIDー19 https://t.co/476TtyXQur
— VFI (@VFIpubs) July 3, 2020
Representative Body Welcomes Spot Checks
Donal O'Keeffe, CEO of the Licensed Vintners Association says it's unacceptable for publicans to flout the rules:
"We believe the vast majority of the trade are complying with the guidelines."
"They are working in the best interests of the safety of their staff and customers."
However, he said, "There are clearly some publicans that aren't."
"It's really important from a public health perspective, for the health of staff and customers, that guidelines are enforced."
"So we really welcome that the Gardaí are doing these spot checks."
Ignoring Guidelines Can Start Clusters "Very Quickly"
Adding to that, Dr Madeleine Ni Dhalaigh from the Irish Medical Organisation says outbreaks could flare up quickly.
She has seen it before, and says it can happen again if health and safety guidelines aren't being followed:
"We've seen that at the very start of the pandemic."
"Clusters flared up very quickly among small social groups."
So she added, "if we do adhere to the rules; maintain social distancing, maintain our hand washing and cough etiquette we can mitigate the risk."
"That's what it's about."
Photos: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie