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Decision on re-opening of 'wet pubs' still expected by end of August, Taoiseach confirms

It comes despite new government guidance on Covid-19 lasting until 13 September.
Aug 18th 2020, 7:20 PM 39,614 54

THE TAOISEACH HAS said the re-opening of pubs that don’t serve food will be considered again this month, despite announcing of new Covid-19 measures this evening.

The Government unveiled a range of fresh guidance on social gatherings and sport, as well as powers to enforce public health measures following concerns about a spike in the number of cases of the coronavirus in recent weeks.

The new guidance remains place until 13 September, but Micheál Martin told reporters that the re-opening of so-called ‘wet pubs’ would be considered before then.

“We said we would reconsider that specific issue in terms of the wet pubs at the end of August, and we will reconsider it that at that juncture,” the Taoiseach said.

“The virus, and the spread of the virus is dictating and will dictate for considerable time the response to this.

“The only reason we’re here on this podium this evening is because of a desire to suppress this virus, and to prevent it from killing more people.”

Pubs which serve food have been allowed to open since June, under the government’s roadmap for lifting the original Covid-19 restrictions.

However, those that don’t serve food were originally supposed to open again in July, but were prevented from doing so following concerns about the spread of Covid-19 since then.

Earlier this month, the government decided for a second time not to allow those pubs to re-open on 10 August, saying that guidance on their re-opening would be reviewed on 31 August.

The Taoiseach explained that although the latest round of restrictions would be reviewed on 13 September, the issue of pubs would be looked at again at the end of the month because it was believed that all issues needed to be constantly under review.

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“We will engage with NPHET in relation to that and obviously, we learn all the time in terms of what’s happening currently in terms of what’s open at the moment, and behaviours and so on,” Martin added.

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