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Restaurants' association urges government to order restaurants to close

Simon Coveney said all decisions will be made on the basis of public health advice.
Mar 16th 2020, 8:57 AM 41,983 55

THE HEAD OF the Restaurants Association of Ireland has called on the government to issue a directive ordering restaurants and cafes to close, in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Adrian Cummins made the comments on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio One today, saying restaurants will become the place where people congregate now that all pubs across Ireland have been shut.

Cummins said that most restaurants were significantly quieter than usual over the weekend but some cafes were very busy. 

“We want to close but they need to tell us so that everybody closes,” he said.

Social distancing is not working in Ireland at the moment and we need to have a national call right across the country that any area where you have the opportunity for collective gathering needs to be now closed down.

Cummins added that the directive must be issued by the government so that no businesses take the opportunity to open.

Foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney said that the government will give clarity on the issue later today but it “won’t be pushed” into ordering restaurants to shut their doors.

He added that the decision will be made on the back of advice from the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

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