Reopening Of Pubs Postponed Until August 10
The government has postponed the planned wider reopening of pubs from July 20 until August 10 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
The announcement follows last week's news that the planned wider reopening of pubs on July 20 was under review due to concerns about social distancing, or the lack thereof, outside of drinks venues.
Pubs that serve food, which were permitted to reopen on June 29 under the conditions that they serve each customer a meal worth at least €9, limit the time customers spend on their premises to a maximum of 105 minutes, enforce social distancing in their venues and implement a number of other health and safety measures, can remain open as long as they continue to adhere to the required health and safety guidelines.
One of the government's main concerns in relation to the spread of COVID-19 is a rise in infections among younger people.
In-Home And Public Gatherings Restrictions
Along with announcing the postponement of the reopening of drinks venues, the government stated that, due to concerns about the coronavirus spreading as a result of large house parties as public health officials have observed large clusters of infections linked to in-home gatherings of 40-50 people, social visits to people's homes should be limited to a maximum of 10 people from a maximum of four other households at any one time; indoor public gatherings will continue to be limited to 50 people until at least August 10; and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 200 people.
The government is also still advising against non-essential foreign travel.
As reported by The Irish Times, the state's acting chief medical officer, Dr. Ronan Glynn, warned that the pandemic is accelerating globally and, in relation to Ireland, said, "It only needs the smallest window of opportunity to become a major problem again."
Meanwhile, health minister Stephen Donnelly said there has been "a lot of concern" about tourists travelling to Ireland from other countries and not self-isolating for two weeks upon arrival.
On July 20, the government will publish a "green list" of countries to which travel will be permitted. This list will be reviewed every two weeks.
Face Masks In Shops
Additionally, the government announced that the wearing of face masks will be made mandatory in shops, and retail staff must also wear face coverings unless there is a partition between them and customers. Regulations for this and details of penalties for non-compliance are currently being formulated.
This follows the introduction this week of the rule that face masks are mandatory on public transport. People who fail to wear face masks on public transport can be fined up to €2,500 or face six months in prison.
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