Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced in the evening that the Government had decided not to proceed to Phase 4 of the country’s reopening plan.
The pubs will not be allowed to open next Monday and neither will the rules regarding the number of people allowed to meet outside or inside change.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced in the evening that the Government had decided not to proceed to Phase 4 of the country’s reopening plan and that the major unlocking policies were being postponed for another three weeks. He also announced that the wearing of masks will be mandatory in shops and shopping centers from August 10 onwards.
Restaurants and pubs where food is available will have to close at 11pm.
Under phase 4, it was intended to allow groups of 500 people to gather outside and groups of 100 people inside.
Today ‘s decision means that the number of people allowed to meet outside will remain at 200 and that groups of 50 people will always be allowed inside.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the decision was based on the latest advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team and the recent rise in cases of the disease.
In particular, he mentioned the average number of cases over the last five days and the number of cases of the disease per 100,000 people in two weeks.
There have been an average of 45.4 new cases in the last five days compared to 6.4 at the end of June and the disease now affects three times every 100,000 people a month ago. For two weeks there were 7.54 cases of the disease per 100,000.
Under Phase 4 of the deregulation plan, open permission was to be granted for non-food pubs and hotel bars.
Phase 4 was scheduled to begin last month but was postponed when the spread of the disease increased.
The Taoiseach said the recent increase in the number of cases showed that the conservative approach taken by the government in July made sense. This country was still doing well compared to other countries but things were still “in the balance”, said Micheál Martin.
He said that the people of Ireland had done a feat but that it was important that people always be careful.
He felt sorry for pubs, he said, but the decision was taken in the interests of saving lives.
He urged people to be patient and adhere to public health advice. Turning to the Irish language, he said that we must stand together “against this malignant disease”.
This announcement is a major blow to pubs, but public health officials have been concerned for some time about the rise in the number of cases.
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland said earlier today that today is the day of destiny for the 3,500 pubs outside Dublin that they do
An update to the Government’s ‘green list’ for overseas travel was also announced. Five places have been removed from the green list: Malta, Cyprus, Gibraltar, San Marino and Monaco.
45 new cases of the Covid-19 were announced this afternoon.
The latest figures were released at a time when an official announcement is expected that pubs will not be allowed to open next Monday as planned.
For the fifth day in a row no deaths from the disease were to be announced by the Department of Health.
33 of the 45 new cases involved Kildare and seven involved Dublin. A further five cases involved four different counties.
Outbreaks of Covid-19 or those in close contact with others who tested positive for the disease were confirmed in 31 cases. Four of the new cases were confirmed to have been disseminated in the community.
77% of those involved were under 45 years of age.
There are 13 Covid-19 patients in the hospitals and five of them are in intensive care units.
Eight new cases were announced today by the Northern Department of Health.
At least 2,319 people have died in Ireland as a result of the pandemic, 1,763 people south of the border and 556 north of it.
32,249 confirmed cases of Covid-19 disease to date in Ireland, 26,253 cases in the south and 5,996 cases in the north.
For the latest figures for the counties, by midnight last Sunday there was one new case of the disease in Kerry (318), one new case in County Meath and two more cases of the disease in Cork (1,569) .
There was no change in the number of cases in Donegal (476), Galway (498), Mayo (583) or Waterford (166).
NPHET is urging people to follow six pieces of advice:
- Practice social separation and stay two meters away from others
- Meet people outdoors as long as possible
- Not staying too long in the company of people
- Wash hands thoroughly and often
- Wear face cover where appropriate
- Download Covid-19 tracking app