'Nothing magic' in report on pubs to minister, says CMO

'Nothing magic' in report on pubs to minister, says CMO
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn at a Covid-19 update press conference at the Department of Health. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has said there is “nothing magic” about evidence showing that pubs could worsen the spread of Covid-19, after a Government TD called for it to be published.

Fianna Fáil Dublin South West TD John Lahart called for the advice cited in a letter to health minister Stephen Donnelly by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to be made public.

The letter said that pubs "pose a particular risk to the spread of Covid-19, as alcohol can make people less aware of social distancing and hygiene and respiratory behaviours, loud atmospheres can increase particles emitted, and many pubs and bars can be small spaces with poor ventilation".

Mr Lahart said publicans have prepared twice for the safe reopening of their premises, spending thousands of euro in the process, to ensure that their premises met public health guidelines.

He added that given the devastation publicans face, they are owed the publication of this evidence cited by NPHET to the minister.

"Twice they have faced the devastation of being denied the opportunity to open safely — notwithstanding the fact that many of their industry colleagues have successfully managed to do so,” he said.

However, Dr Glynn said there was nothing secret or revelatory about the advice given to the Government, adding that he had no issue about it being made public.

There is "nothing magic" about it, he said, adding that there were countries across the world that had seen a spike in cases after opening bars.

The letter contained no smoking gun, he added, merely a list of examples. 

Bars are now set to remain closed until September at least after the Government paused phase four of the country's reopening roadmap.

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