Pubs will not reopen on August 10

Evidence to be reviewed again in three weeks
  • Deborah Condon

The Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, has confirmed that pubs will not reopen on August 10 and current restrictions on the number of people who can attend indoor and outdoor gatherings is also to remain unchanged.

Pubs were originally to be reopened on July 20, but the decision was taken to delay this until August 10. However, due to an increase in cases here and the international trend of increased transmission, "the Government has made a number of decisions based on the advice of NPHET", Mr Martin explained.

"I know this will come as a bitter disappointment to many people, but the Cabinet has agreed to continue with the current health measures that are in place. Therefore pubs, bars, hotel bars, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed.

"Also the current restrictions on numbers attending indoor and outdoor gatherings will remain unchanged. We will review the evidence again in three weeks time," Mr Martin said.

This means that pubs will not open until at least August 31. Until that time, indoor gatherings will also continue to be restricted to 50 people, while 200 people can gather outdoors.

Pubs that serve food and restaurants can remain open, however their last customers will have to be off the premises by 11pm each night.

Responding to the news, the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) have said that this decision will be met "with fury and despair".

They said that the Government has abandoned the 3,500 smaller pubs nationwide, and the sector is now facing "a full blown crisis that will place intolerable pressure on publicans, staff, suppliers and their families".

"There is only so much an industry can take. If the Government wants the pub sector to survive, there needs to be a solution for handling pubs during this public health emergency crisis. That means coming up with a meaningful support package for pubs whose doors remain shut by order of the Government," commented LVA chief executive, Donall O'Keeffe.

Meanwhile, the Government also announced an update to the Green List, with Malta, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Monoco and San Marino all being dropped from it.

Earlier, NPHET said that there had been no new deaths from COVID-19 and 45 new cases, bringing the total number of cases here to 26,253. Of these latest cases, 77% were in people under the age of 45.

Thirty-three of the cases were located in Kildare and seven in Dublin, while the remaining five were spread out over four counties.

 


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