The chief executive of the Vintners' Federation of Ireland, Padraig Cribben, has said that it is expecting pubs to reopen on 10 August.

He said there are almost 4,000 family businesses around the country that will not have traded for five months at that stage. Pubs shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They were expected to reopen on 20 July during Phase 3 of the roadmap for easing restrictions but this was later postponed until 10 August.

Mr Cribben said pubs must open on that date to "have any chance of viability".

The VFI chief is asking Fáilte Ireland for guidelines under which pubs can reopen, to give them a "fair chance" to trade.

Earlier this week, it was reported that a further 22 potential breaches of public health regulations were identified at licensed premises, with gardaí saying the majority related to a lack of evidence that food was being served or consumed.

The regulations state that, during Phase 3, alcohol can only be served alongside a "substantial meal" costing at least €9 with customers staying a maximum of 105 minutes on the premises.

The VFI said pubs who fail to comply with Covid-19 regulations should "feel the full force of the law".

Last Thursday, the Tánaiste told the Dáil that, while he would like to see pubs reopen on 10 August, but he cannot guarantee that will happen.

Leo Varadkar said he hoped the Government will make a decision on the issue when the Cabinet meets this Thursday.

He said he agreed that pubs are important to Ireland's social fabric.

Meanwhile, a pandemic expert has said pubs in Britain could have to shut in order for schools to reopen, amid concern there over a rise in infections among young people.

Professor Graham Medley, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said ministers might have to consider closing pubs in order for lessons to start again next month.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously pledged that both primary and secondary schools will return in September "with full attendance".

But Prof Medley said a "trade off" might have to be made to ensure full-time education could resume.

When asked whether pubs could have to shut for schools to reopen, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think that's quite possible.

"I think we're in a situation whereby most people think that opening schools is a priority for the health and wellbeing of children and that when we do that, we are going to reconnect lots of households."