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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

Covid update: Pubs set to reopen, masks key to reducing deaths

by Jennifer McShane
05th Sep 2020

Reports this weekend say that the Government are aiming to reopen pubs in the next couple of weeks (though this has yet to be officially confirmed) and in other news, US experts have said that the wearing of facemasks is key to reducing the number of Covid deaths in Ireland

The Government is reportedly in the midst of finalising a new set of guidelines which will be shared with publicans’ organisations in the coming days.

These guidelines, it is understood, are set to coincide with the publication of the Government’s new plan for managing the next phase the Covid-19 pandemic on September 14th.

Currently, Ireland pubs have been in the longest lockdown, compared to any of our European counterparts.

Responding to criticism surrounding new laws requiring pubs and restaurants to retain individual details of food consumption, the Taoiseach said it was “overstating it” to claim it was a communications calamity.

“The Government has no interest in knowing what people are eating,” he said, adding that regulations had been designed to deal with “rogue operators” – those serving drink but not food.

Meanwhile, a forecast by US academics has said research predicts 2,940 deaths in Ireland by January 1st if mask-use remains at current levels. They said Ireland could suffer another 1,200 Covid-19 deaths by the end of the year if face mask use doesn’t improve.

Evidence has found that the routine wearing of face masks can curb the spread of coronavirus, and if they are not worn by the end of the year, it was forecast that Ireland would need 1,037 out of the 1,573 available hospital beds to treat virus patients with more ICU beds than our hospitals have capacity for.

“We are in the process of closing chapter one of our experience with Covid and we are moving into chapter two now as we move into the winter,” chief medical offer Ronan Glynn said on Friday’s Late Late Show.

“But I don’t want people to despair just because we are moving into the winter, there is lots we can do as individuals and families to plan for that. So Government will be providing a plan the week after next.”

Main photograph: Unsplash

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