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Dublin: 24 °C Tuesday 2 June, 2020
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Any pubs still open could be forcibly closed using 'emergency powers'

The warning came from Simon Harris and Tony Holohan.

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan speaking at the Department of Health earlier this week.
Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan speaking at the Department of Health earlier this week.
Image: RollingNews.ie

THE CHIEF MEDICAL Officer and the Minister for Health have issued a warning to pubs that are still open that they could face being forcibly closed. 

This evening, Dr Tony Holohan tweeted that the Department of Health is “aware that pubs in some areas of the country are continuing to open – despite existing public health advice”. 

Holohan said that if any premises are found to be doing so, Harris “will be advised to use his regulatory powers to temporarily close them”.

Earlier, Harris had issued a similar warning. Thanking the publicans who have already closed, Harris said that he would “use new emergency powers to immediately shut them down” if he finds that some pubs remain open

“We will remember those who undermined the health and wellbeing of our people when it comes to renewing licenses,” he said. 

Last weekend, Harris – backed by the Vintners Federation of Ireland and the Licenced Vintners Association – advised that all pubs should close. 

On Friday, a bill providing the government with a wide array of powers to tackle the spread of Covid-19 was signed into law. 

While some TDs labelled it “draconian”, both TDs and senators offered their backing to the bill as it was rushed through the Oireachtas. 

Alongside provisions on jobseeker’s payments and the issue of detainment, the emergency legislation also gives powers to the minister to shut down mass gatherings as well as designating a region an infection area.

The powers under the act will be reviewed on 9 November 2020, following concerns raised by TDs. 

This evening, another 102 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic of Ireland – bringing the total number of cases to 785. 

It now means that there are 893 confirmed cases on the island of Ireland with the North reporting 22 new diagnoses today, bringing the total there to 108.

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