IT looks like being a very quiet New Year’s Eve in West Cork this year with the chief medical officer Tony Holohan advising the public to avoid busy gatherings.
A number of pubs in the region have opted to close, following the advice, with several others already having had to succumb to staff being close contacts or Covid-positive in recent days.
Many of those that will remain open until the 8pm closing time tonight say they will have staff on the doors to keep numbers limited and when they reach capacity, there will be no more patrons allowed.
The advice from local publicans for anyone wanting to enjoy a New Year’s Eve drink this year is not to leave it until the last minute to visit your local hostelry and bear in mind the 8pm closing.
Fiddlers bar in Bandon was just one of many bars and restaurants announcing this week that they would not be opening on New Year's Eve.
A number of pubs in Dublin have announced they are offering ‘takeaway’ pints tonight, some until 10pm.
Yesterday, Dr Holohan said the most effective way to minimise the risk of any of us transmitting the virus to others is to avoid mixing indoors with people from other households.
‘I know this is not the advice any one of us wants to hear, particularly in advance of New Year celebrations. However, given the current profile of the disease, it is essential that all of us continue to keep our social contacts as low as possible in the days ahead.’
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the latest data indicates that approximately 92% of cases are due to the new omicron variant.