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Phase 4 Ireland: Pubs will not reopen until at least August 31, number of countries removed from Green List

  • Pubs will not reopen until at least August 31

  • Cyprus, Gibraltar, Monaco, San Marino & Malta are gone from the Green List

  • Indoor (50) and outdoor gatherings (200) to still have number restrictions

  • Face coverings to be made mandatory in shops

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Phase 4 of the Government's roadmap is due to begin on August 10. (stock image)

Phase 4 of the Government's roadmap is due to begin on August 10. (stock image)

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA)

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA)

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Phase 4 of the Government's roadmap is due to begin on August 10. (stock image)

PUBS, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed for at least another three weeks, the Taoiseach has stated tonight.

Face coverings will also be mandatory in shops and shopping centres from August 10 and five countries have been taken off the green list.

Only 50 people will be allowed to meet indoors and 200 outdoors.

Pubs will not reopen until at least August 31 and pubs that serve food and restaurants must now close at 11pm.

Malta, Cyprus, San Marino, Gibraltar and Monaco have been taken off the Green List.

Anyone travelling to those destinations would now have to isolate for 14 days on the way back.

Michéal Martin said he realised this news would come as a blow to publicans but there was no choice in the matter, given the increase in cases.

“While we have opened our society to a significant degree, one thing has not changed. This virus is as virulent as vever. It remains indiscriminate in its cruelty.

“But as dangerous as it is, we have shown we can beat it.

“We need to wash our hands, wear a mask...social distance and minimise our contacts.

“Have patience, we know how deadly this disease is, we have seen a terrible human cost with 1,763 dead.

"We need to suppress this virus. The only way to do this is to work together. Let us continue to fight the virus together for our brilliant health workers, our children who need to get back to school, for the vulnerable in our society, in honour of those who have passed away.

"The Irish people have done a good job in containing the virus, but it's important to remain vigilant.

"This will come as a blow to pub owners, I want them to know I have every sympathy for their plight.

"This virus is taking away their ability to earn a living, to provide a key service in the heart of in particular rural communities.

“Together we will be in a position to overcome this.”

The Taoiseach said the Cabinet would need to now look at supports for the industry, as he realised how they had been severely affected. He also urged people to avoid house parties.

While publicans and other businesses would be "very upset" he said the priority was public health. The priority was to "save lives", to look after the vulnerable and "to reopen our schools."

"The life chances of our children depend on us getting the schools open in a safe way."

The Taoiseach asked the country to continue to “have patience” in the fight against Covid-19 and to follow all the public health advice in keeping the virus under control.

Green List

In discussing the five countries removed from the Green List, the Taoiseach announced Malta, Cyprus, San Marino and Gibraltar had been taken off the list.

Anyone travelling to those destinations would now have to isolate for 14 days on the way back. The best advice was, to stay home, Mr Martin said.

Dr Ronan Glynn, the acting CMO, said: "It's not about the number of cases, it's about where those cases are arising, can we link one case with another.

"What are we seeing in the hospitals, what's the age profile, is it getting into our care facilities.

"It never has been or will be as simple as saying we reached X number and need to do Y, it's a range of measures we need to keep under review."

Outdoor gatherings

Outdoor gatherings will remain at 200 for outdoor events, due to a risk of the virus spreading as people travel to and from events, Dr Ronan Glynn has said.

The Taoiseach announced there will be no expansion of outdoor gatherings to help keep Covid-19 figures down.

The acting CMO Ronan Glynn said it wasn't the aim to put people off going outside together, but there was a risk from large numbers gathering outside venues, households mixing together and trips to and from destinations, where people mixed together.

Dr Glynn said there had been "multiple cases of people sharing transport and going to and from different households."

"This virus thrives, it's counter to what us Irish people love to do, to meet up with people and engage with people.

"We haven't been able to do the things we want to do."

But he added that this was the necessary time to pull back on moving forward to Phase Four to help schools open.

"In three weeks time hopefully our schools will open. There are many good things happening over the last couple of months."

Society now had to "double down" and go back to the psychology of March, he added, when the country was in lockdown. That meant washing hands, social distancing and following all the public health advice to keep numbers down.

'Despair' from pubs sector

The reopening of some 3,500 pubs across the country, that have been shuttered since March, will now not go ahead on August 10 as had been planned.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) advised the Government against reopening pubs after it met this morning.

The Government has "abandoned the 3,500 smaller pubs across Ireland" following their decision to stop pubs from reopening next week, according to the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI).

They also said that the decision will be met with “fury and despair” across the sector.

VFI Chief Executive, Padraig Cribben, said: “This is Groundhog Day for the trade as twice now the reopening of pubs has been postponed. The new Government’s decision has caused grave alarm within the trade as publicans face an extremely uncertain future with little to feel optimistic about. Make no mistake, this is a full-blown crisis for the trade as over 3,500 pubs must now remain shut.

“The Government has effectively denied pubs the ability to trade and as a result will have to provide substantial supports to our members, many of whom are deeply agitated at what they feel is the State abandoning a vital part of the hospitality sector.”

While Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA, said the Government has "basically just abandoned half the pub sector".

“This decision will be met with both fury and despair across the entire sector. It is creating intolerable pressure on those pubs still closed, their 25,000 staff, suppliers to the industry and all their families. The Government can’t keep stringing the entire sector along like this.

"Where is their plan? Where are their supports for the industry? The pubs that are closed or their staff certainly won’t benefit from the July stimulus if they have to stay closed and the future viability of these businesses is in doubt.

“There is only so much an industry can take. If the Government wants the pub sector to survive, there needs to be a solution for handling pubs during this public health emergency crisis. That means coming up with a meaningful support package for pubs whose doors remain shut by order of the Government,” he said.

Education Minister Norma Foley said she understood the difficulties that publicans and other businesses were in and was very sympathetic to their concerns “but this is that the public health experts have advised and we have been guided by public health advice thus far.”

She told independent.ie that while these were “not ideal circumstances, we have to take public health advice seriously.|”

Ms Foley said that the Government’s top priority was re-opening schools.

More than a week on from the publication of the roadmap for re-opening schools, Ms Foley expressed confidence that the planned full re-opening would happen on target.

She said there had been "a very positive engagement and a desire to make things work coming from schools, from parents, from students and from general society.

“I say that with absolute gratitude. People do want this to work and are prepared to engage to make it work and I see no reason at this stage that we cannot move forward to that agenda of the end of August/first of September.”

Ms Foley said while “there will be issues and glitches” her department wanted to engage and work hand in hand with schools on whatever specific issues that might arise.

The minister said the re-opening helpline set up for principals was busy and grants for minor works had been paid to primary schools last week and would be going out to post primary schools this week.

Speaking before Cabinet earlier today, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar highlighted the recent spike in new Covid-19 cases in Ireland and across Europe and said the Government’s priority is reopening schools and colleges.Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said this will be come as a “further blow to some sectors that have not been reopened but added that “we can’t risk going backwards or risk the schools reopening”.

The Tanáiste stated that support would have to be provided to the industries that are still unable to open.

But Mr Varadkar said he couldn’t go into further detail on this, due to the need to meet with Cabinet to discuss the finer details.

Mr Varadkar said: “This pandemic is blazing around the world with record new cases.”

Financial supports, such as the current unemployment schemes, are thought to be likely to be kept in place for some time.

Online Editors


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