The next phase of Ireland's COVID reopening plan is to be stalled once again as Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirms that pubs will stay closed and restrictions on gatherings will remain in place after receiving advice from public health officials
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that bars, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed. He said pubs serving food and restaurants will have to close at 11pm.
The restrictions on indoor and outdoor gathering will also remain, so as it stands, only 50 can congregate indoors and 200 outdoors. This will remain the case for at least three more weeks when it is to be reviewed again by the government.
When asked if pubs would be able to open at any point this year, Martin said he could give "no guarantees," adding that it depended on which way the virus spreads. “We can’t give any guarantees right now.”
“I know this will come as a bitter disappointment to many people… I know this will come as a blow to pub owners,” he said, adding that Ireland’s number of cases per 100,000 had tripled between July and August (from 2.5 to 7.5).
“International evidence shows very clearly that pubs and nightclubs reopening too early leads directly and inextricably to an increase in community transmission,” Martin said. "That is the very worse thing that could happen here."
“We are doing what we are doing to save lives,” he said.
Face coverings will also be mandatory in shops and shopping centres from August 10th.
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) August 4, 2020
Ireland is still doing very well by international standards, according to the government.
The 'green list'
The Taoiseach confirmed this evening that Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Monaco, and San Marino have been removed from Ireland’s green list. Anyone travelling to Ireland from those countries will now have to limit their movements for 14 days upon their arrival. No countries have been added.
“While we have reopened our society and economy to a significant degree, one thing has not changed. The virus has not changed. It remains as virulent as ever and is constantly on the search for new people to infect. It remains completely indiscriminate in its cruelty.”
"The truth is this pandemic is blazing around the world. In fact, it's worse than ever at a global level ... Overall in Ireland, we're still in a relatively good position ... we want to keep it that way," added Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. "We don't want to risk falling backwards."
"We know how to suppress this virus; we just need to go back to basics."
He urged people to "continue what we had been doing so well" and urged people to continue to wash their hands repeatedly, to wear masks in public settings, to practice good coughing and sneezing etiquette, to maintain a social distance, to limit your close contacts, and to download the government’s Covid-19 app.
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