WITH 40 new confirmed cases on Covid-19 in Ireland, the Government is now calling on public houses and bars –which includes hotel bars –to close from this evening until at least March 29th.
This anticipated move follows discussions earlier today with both the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) and the Licenced Vintners Association (LVO). They had outlined the difficulties in implementing the published guidelines on social distancing in a public house setting.
The Government is also calling on all members of the public not to organise or participate in any parties in private houses or other venues which would put peoples' health at risk. Having consulted with the chief medical officer, the Government believes that this is an essential public health measure given the reports of reckless behaviour by some members of the public in certain pubs last night.
While the government acknowledges that the majority of the public and pub owners are behaving responsibly, it believes it is important that all pubs are closed in advance of St Patrick's Day.
Both the VFI and LVO have supported the decision and have urged all their members to close in line with the government's request.
Minister for Health, Simon Harris has said they need people to show 'cop on and decency' and that the shutdown of bars is not an excuse to have what he termed 'Covid-19' parties.
'Please understand the role you have to play, the scenes like we saw last night in some locations, in particular in our capital city were really disappointing– when doctors and nurses are working flat out– to see people not showing that degree of social responsibility is disappointing,' said Minister Harris.
Meanwhile, of the new 40 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, 23 are male and 17 are female, with 23 associated with the east of the country, nine associated with the west and six in the south. There are now 169 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland and two people have died.