Garda pub checks find 26 potential breaches of Covid-19 restrictions

Almost 7,000 licenced premises were checked nationwide.
Garda pub checks find 26 potential breaches of Covid-19 restrictions
Gardaí conducted 6,830 checks on licensed premises throughout the country under Operation Navigation.
Gardaí conducted 6,830 checks on licensed premises throughout the country under Operation Navigation.

Gardaí found 26 potential breaches of Covid-19 restrictions last weekend.

Almost 7,000 licenced premises were checked nationwide.

From 7pm last Friday night until midnight on Sunday, gardaí conducted 6,830 checks on licensed premises throughout the country under Operation Navigation.

There were 2,785 pubs open for businesss.

The vast majority of licensed premises operating were found to be in compliance with regulations and licensing laws.

Gardaí found 26 individual licensed premises to have potential breaches of the health regulations or licensing laws even after providing the premises with the opportunity to rectify the situation.

Files will now be prepared for the DPP in each of these cases.

In many of these cases, gardaí found customers consuming alcohol but no evidence of food also being consumed and no evidence of receipts to show that food had been sold.

Other breaches observed included large groups sitting at one table, little to no social distancing, no advisory signage and no contact tracing being recorded.

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said gardaí remain concerned that a minority of premises are potentially operating in breach of the regulations.

He said that pubs not following regulations are putting the health of their customers and staff and everyone they come into contact with afterwards at risk.

"We are sending a clear message to such premises that we will be opposing their liquor license renewal applications in September unless they come into compliance.

"In addition, the public has shown great restraint and responsibility to date in adhering to the public health guidelines.

The reality is that Covid-19 is still here.

"We all have an individual responsibility to ensure we continue to play our part in reducing the spread of Covid-19 to protect our family, friends and neighbours.”

The current regulations are in effect until July 20.

The country's top health officials will consider whether pubs should be allowed to fully reopen at a meeting this morning.

The National Public Health Emergency Team will consider whether pubs will reopen fully on July 20 as scheduled.

The plan is in doubt after large crowds gathered to drink in Dublin last weekend.

DCU health professor Anthony Staines is opposed to the opening of all pubs later this month.

"Pubs are natural places to spread this disease. We have seen cases of outbreaks in the United States, in Korea all traced to pubs and nightclubs.

"Pubs can work only if a very high standard of control is maintained.

"Drunk people don't observe social distancing and they are not going to."

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