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File image, closed pub in Dublin. Sam Boal
wet pubs

Dublin pubs not expected to reopen on Monday due to rising Covid-19 cases in the county

Pubs in all 26 counties were due to reopen next week but rising cases in Dublin mean some will remain closed.

PUBS IN DUBLIN which were expected to reopen on 21 September are set to remain closed following the continued increase in cases in the county.

The leaders of the Government parties agreed the move this evening, with Cabinet expected to sign off on the measure tomorrow morning.

The delayed reopening follows advice from public health officials trying to regain control over the spread of the virus in the city and surrounding areas. 

Pubs outside of Dublin will be allowed to reopen as planned on 21 September. 

A recommendation from NPHET to limit travel in and out of Dublin was also discussed this evening. 

Cabinet will discuss that issue tomorrow, with a final decision expected to be announced at a late morning press conference.

Any agreed measures will be contained within Ireland’s new ‘Living with Covid’ plan, which minsters will sign off tomorrow. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and his ministers are due to meet from 8am with the full details of the plan – many of which have been well-flagged – set to be announced at around midday. 

The plan will include a colour-coded, five-level system to indicate what public health measures are in place in different areas of the country at any given time and will replace the original roadmap plan set out by then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on 1 May.

It is not yet clear at what level Dublin will be when the plan is published. 

Of the 2,230 coronavirus cases reported in Ireland over the two weeks up to last Saturday, more than half are located in Dublin. Ireland’s 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 is currently 46.8, while Dublin’s rate is almost double that at 89.1 per 100,000. 

Speaking today,  Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the situation in Dublin is “markedly different” from the rest of the country.

“Any decisions on any additional restrictions in Dublin will be made tomorrow by Cabinet. But the truth is the situation in Dublin is worrying,” the Tánaiste said. 

“We’ve seen a situation where the incidence of the virus was as low as five or six per 100,000 over 14 days and now it’s hitting about 80.”

Amid speculation that pubs in Dublin might remain closed while those outside Dublin reopen, the Licensed Vintners Association, a representative group for licensed publicans in the Dublin region, warned such a move “would completely destroy the trust of publicans in the current Government”.

Meanwhile, guidelines were published today by Fáilte Ireland providing advice for pubs that serve food and those that do not ahead of reopening next week. 

These include a requirement that customers are able to enter and exit a pub through separate doors with hand sanitiser available at each access point.

In addition, pubs must have “prominent signage” relating to social distancing, only one person from a group should queue for their booking and a group must be limited to a maximum of six people from three different households, as per Government rules. 

No formal or informal events or parties should be organised within a pub and publicans must ensure physical distancing of two metres is maintained.

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Conor McCrave and Christina Finn
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