It would appear that the second wave is upon us. Well, in Northern Ireland at least, although the statistics suggest infection rates are rising across Europe. Yesterday, our Executive met and agreed new province-wide restrictions that mean people can no longer have visitors in their own homes. Many are unhappy with this decision given, in the same breath, it was announced that all ‘wet’ bars are being allowed to open from Wednesday.
What is a wet bar? Well, it’s one that serves alcohol only. Up until then, premises that served food were allowed to open with restrictions. You could only have a drink indoors if you ordered food and by table service only. Numbers of parties were restricted and there was a limit on how long you could remain on the premises. The problem was, rumours spread that many landlords were not adhering to these rules and the latter were not being enforced strictly enough.
I’ve heard stories of large groups of adults huddled round a single side dish, takeaway food being brought into bars without kitchens and drinkers being issued with a knife and fork and told their food was ‘on its way’ if anybody asked. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. I’m sure the publicans and patrons who played these games felt very pleased with themselves at the time. Well, who’s laughing now. The way the situation is deteriorating your bar could be shut down again soon. And this time, on a permanent basis.
There’s little point having rules and regulations if people don’t adhere to them for the common good. Is your weekend drinking session more important than protecting the lives of the weak and vulnerable? It would appear to many, it is. The sense of entitlement and selfishness involved in coming to this conclusion is breathtaking. Yet, here we are. Enjoy your drinks while you can. But remember to raise a glass to the COVID dead while you’re at it.