Covid-19 update: Government confirms Ireland will not move to phase 4 on Monday

Amid a rising number of confirmed coronavirus cases and concerns over clusters, the Government confirmed on Wednesday that Ireland would not move ahead to phase 4 on Monday as was originally mapped out


In a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19, the Government has decided to delay moving to phase four of the roadmap to reopen the country.

The country was due to move to the fourth and final phase of the roadmap to lift coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Monday, July 20th, but it will now be delayed by another three weeks amid fears over the increasing number of coronavirus cases.

The remainder of the country’s pubs will not be permitted to reopen until August 10th.

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The main points raised in Cabinet this evening are as follows:

Pubs, hotels bars, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed until August 10th

Pubs that can operate as restaurants and serve a “substantial meal” have been permitted to resume trading since late June.

"Pubs and bars which are already operating and serving food can remain open once they are fully compliant with public health guidance,” Taoiseach Micheál Martin said at a government press briefing this evening.

Social visits to people’s homes should be limited to a maximum of 10 people from no more than four households 

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"There is evidence that unrestricted house parties have led to a rise in recent outbreaks of the virus,” Martin continued.

"It is now recommended that social visits to people’s homes will be limited to a maximum of ten visitors from no more than four households.”

Restrictions on indoor gatherings to 50 and outdoors to 200 will also remain in place until August 10th.

Face coverings are to be made mandatory in shops for shoppers and staff 

Ministers approved the proposal to extend the regulation requiring face coverings on public transport – which came in to effect on Monday.

Martin also confirmed that face coverings will be mandatory in shops for both shoppers and staff, unless a screen is in place.

A ‘Green List’ for countries to which it is safe to travel will be published on Monday but the advice will remain against all non-essential travel 

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The list will be published next week, but will be constantly kept under review. The Taoiseach also said there will be an increased presence of staff at ports and airports to ensure incoming passengers are made aware of their obligations, including restriction of movement for 14 days.

"The global situation is deteriorating and there are growing concerns about re-emergence of the virus in Ireland as a result of overseas travel."

R number

Wednesday's announcement comes after the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) was said they were “worried about the trajectory” of the virus at the moment.

The State’s acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned the pandemic was globally accelerating and said it "was not over."

“It only needs the smallest window of opportunity to become a major problem again,” he said.

He then said the R-number, which is the reproductive rate of the virus, had increased above 1 and was “somewhere in the range of 1.2 and 1.8."

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The priority now must be to get that R number back below ‘1’, the Government said.

Two more deaths were announced this evening, bringing the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 1,748 with 14 new cases diagnosed.


Read more: ‘Zero-Covid island’: Scientists say eradication of Covid-19 is the best way forward

Read more: Parents of babies born during the pandemic to get an additional three weeks of parental leave

Read more: Survey finds 62% of Irish employers are planning a staggered return to work

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