Expert says Irish people don't need to be test subjects to prove Covid-19 spread in pubs

DCU's Professor Anthony Staines says there is more than enough data from other countries to show the risks from the hospitality sector.
Expert says Irish people don't need to be test subjects to prove Covid-19 spread in pubs

The Vintners Federation of Ireland is accusing the Government of hypocrisy for splitting the pub trade in two.

The 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 per 100,000 people has stayed below 100 for the second day in a row and now stands at 94.

Donegal continues to have the highest rate in the country at 216 followed by Louth and Limerick while Wexford has the lowest rate at 31.

Yesterday, 243 more cases of coronavirus were recorded along with seven further deaths.

It comes ahead of Tuesday's move to level 3 restrictions with the reopening of shops while restaurants will reopen from Friday.

A public health expert has said Irish people do not need to be used as test subjects to prove Covid-19 spreads in bars.

DCU's Professor Anthony Staines says there is more than enough data from other countries to show the risks from the hospitality sector.

"For most people in Ireland, we don't know where they were infected. In most other European countries, they are doing this tracking back so we have a fair idea where people get infected," said Prof Staines.

That is why we believe that pubs and restaurants are probably major spreaders of this illness because that is what has happened in other countries.

"The Vintners and the restaurant association are rightly saying that on the Irish data, we just don't know. But going on international data, we probably do know."

The Vintners Federation of Ireland is accusing the Government of hypocrisy for splitting the pub trade in two.

The group says over 22,000 people will stay on the PUP payment over Christmas and have no chance of returning to work in the new year.

Vintners Federation of Ireland Chief Executive, Padraig Cribben says it shows the Government has no trust in pub owners.

"The Taoiseach said in his speech that it was an issue of personal responsibility and trust," said Mr Cribben.

"Effectively what he is saying is the Government doesn't trust the publicans, he doesn't trust the 22,000 people employed by those and, in particular, he doesn't trust the patrons that frequent those outlets.

"I think that is very sad."

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