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Dublin: 3°C Friday 23 April 2021

Dublin pubs to stay closed as residents asked to limit household visits

The Taoiseach said the current Covid-19 numbers in Dublin are “very worrying”.

People on Grafton Street in Dublin over the weekend.
People on Grafton Street in Dublin over the weekend.

NEW COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS have been announced for Dublin as the government releases its six-month plan for ‘Living with Covid’. 

People in Dublin are now asked to invite no more than one other household to their homes. So-called ‘wet pubs’ will also remain closed in the capital. 

Dubliners are also encouraged to limit travel outside the region, and only meet one other household when outside the county. 

Existing measures in place across the country, including in Dublin, will remain for a further three-week period. 

The new Covid-19 plan was announced by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Health Minister Stephen Donnelly. 

NPHET will meet on Thursday to discuss further recommendations for Dublin. 

Micheál Martin said the current Covid-19 numbers in Dublin are “very worrying” and said additional measures will be introduced in the capital based on recommendations from NPHET. 

“Rising rates of infection can be reversed by concerted public action and by all of us adhering to the guidance and taking personal responsibility,” Martin said. 

The plan includes a five-level system to indicate which public health measures are in place in different areas of the country at any given time.  

Level One will be the lowest while Level Five will be the most serious – which would possibly see lockdown measures akin to those at the start of the pandemic being reimposed. 

Level Four would be similar to the recent restrictions implemented in Kildare, Laois and Offaly.

At the moment, the country is at Level Two on the roadmap, the Taoiseach said. 

Moving between levels 

Stephen Donnelly said moving from one level to the next “is a serious thing to do for any county”. 

“This isn’t about Dublin versus anywhere else, moving from Level Two to Level Three has a serious impact on jobs, it has a serious impact on how we can live our lives.

“So within any given level, NPHET will quite properly offer advice.”

Leo Varadkar said people are being asked to adhere to the four Ws: 1) Not to welcome any more than one other household to your home, 2) Wash your hands, 3) Watch your distance by staying at least two metres from others and 4) Wear a face mask when the two metre distance is not always possible. 

Varadkar said the situation in Dublin has increased more than 10-fold over the past few weeks with a positivity rate of 3.5% compared to 2% across the rest of the country. 

“We can flatten the curve in Dublin again,” he said.  

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It emerged late last night that so-called ‘wet pubs’ in the capital are to be told to remain closed next week, as pubs in the rest of the country open their doors. This was confirmed by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar today.  

Outside Dublin, pubs that do not serve food are set to be allowed re-open as planned on 21 September under the schedule announced by government last week. 

Of 2,230 coronavirus cases reported in 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. 

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