Government to determine fate of pubs as Phase Four decision expected

Government to determine fate of pubs as Phase Four decision expected
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The Government will decide this evening if Phase Four of reopening the economy can go ahead on Monday.

The plan would mean pubs that do not serve food would be allowed to resume trading.

Moving to phase four would see the re-opening of all pubs, nightclubs and casinos and an increase in public gatherings, with 100 people able to meet indoors and 500 outdoors.

However, reports indicate that it is expected to be delayed after NPHET raised concern about Covid-19 cases in young people and the reproduction rate.

Donal O'Keefe, chief executive of the Licenced Vintners' Association, said it would be highly unfair if they were told to stay closed.

"If the final recommendation and decision from Cabinet is for pubs to remain closed then the pubs will follow that advice, we will take our public health responsibility very seriously," he said.

"The reality is that two-thirds of the pubs in Dublin are already open, half the pubs in Ireland are already open, restaurants up and down the country are already open, so the case for these pubs to reopen is strong we think."

The Cabinet is also due to discuss air travel today.

There have been calls for stricter rules around who is allowed into the country after anecdotal reports of tourists not respecting the self-isolation guidelines.

Ministers have said they do not plan to ban any flights from coming into the country but will be stepping up how they track people who do arrive to make sure they are self-isolating.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has pointed out people who lie on the passenger locator forms can be subject to criminal sanction already, if they're caught. 

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