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No ‘realistic prospect’ of pubs reopening in June, says Holohan

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Dr Tony Holohan said NPHET’s advice on cocooning was accepted by the Government (Leon Farrell/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan said NPHET’s advice on cocooning was accepted by the Government (Leon Farrell/PA)

PA

Dr Tony Holohan said NPHET’s advice on cocooning was accepted by the Government (Leon Farrell/PA)

There is no “realistic prospect” of pubs reopening in June, according to Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Tony Holohan.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke show this morning, Dr Holohan responded to calls being made by pub representative groups, calling for bars to open in June with strict social distancing guidelines.

Currently, under the government’s roadmap to reopening the country, pubs are scheduled to reopen during the last phase on August 10.

“The pubs came to us in March and said we understand your public health advice and we don’t think we can implement it in pubs and that was the reason they were asked to close on that occasion.

“I don’t see any realistic prospect of pubs in June, no, straight answer to your question,” he added.

“I know there are many parts of society and the economy making a case that they should be in earlier phases, what we think now needs to happen is that the economy and society in general get on with the job to implement our advice in the settings that they operate in,” he said.

As Dr Holohan has led the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) through the pandemic, he admitted that the pressure disrupts his sleep some nights.

“It gets between me and my sleep sometimes, it’s a challenge because it is busy because we have to contain an operation seven days a week,” he said.

“I try and get a walk in my local park in Bushy Park in Terenure every morning.

“I stay in touch with the people in my GAA club, even though we’re not doing the usual matches.”

He also denied that there have been tensions between Cabinet ministers and Nphet between implementing public health advice.

“I’ve seen no challenge,” he said.

“The engagements I’ve had at a political level have been entirely consistent [with the advice],” he added.

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