Face coverings to be made mandatory in shops, Taoiseach confirms

Ministers approved the proposal at cabinet this evening.

FACE COVERINGS ARE to be made mandatory in shops, following a meeting of cabinet this evening.

Ministers approved the proposal to extend the regulation requiring face coverings on public transport – which came in to effect on Monday.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed the move this evening, saying that face coverings will be mandatory in shops for both shoppers and staff, unless a screen is in place.

The new regulation has not yet been drafted and could take a matter of “days or weeks” to be signed off on, said government sources.

The measures needed to enforce face masks in shops are separate to the regulations that govern the wearing of face coverings on public transport.

The announcement comes after the Government confirmed that the reopening of pubs and nightclubs is set to be pushed back until 10 August following a meeting of Cabinet ministers today. 

Cabinet ministers agreed to postpone the reopening of pubs under Phase 4 from 20 July to 10 August.

The move comes after serious concerns were raised at a meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team on the re-opening of pubs, given the rising number of cases of Covid-19 in the country.  

At a briefing this evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “Pubs, hotel bars, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed until 10 August. Pubs and bars which are already operating and serving food can remain open once they are fully compliant with the public health guidance.”

Some of the most recent cases have originated from clusters in congregated settings, and it is feared that Ireland is not yet ready to move to the next stage of re-opening the economy. 

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