Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that restaurants and bars could remain closed until the May due to the unpredictability of COVID-19 and the emergence of new variants of the virus.
As reported by The Irish Times, when asked by Virgin Media News on Thursday January 21 if restaurants and bars will remain closed until the end of May, Martin said, "I am not ruling it out.
"If we've learned anything, this virus behaves you know and evolves and changes. So, I think we can't make predictions that far out."
Seeking "Debt Forgiveness"
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Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) chief executive Adrian Cummins said that the May bank holiday weekend is now the key date for the restaurant sector.
He stated, "By then most business will be closed for so long they will have a huge amount of legacy debt. Business supports are good but don't cover all the debt and the bills. What we are looking for is debt forgiveness."
Airline Advertisements Criticism
Meanwhile, Ireland's chief medical officer, Doctor Tony Holohan, said that the country "still [has] a very large burden of disease", and criticised airlines for advertising holiday flights on the basis that COVID-19 vaccines are coming.
Holohan urged people who are contemplating travelling overseas for a holiday "in the not terribly distant future" to follow public health advice and stay home.
Holohan stated that "inducements" in advertisements suggesting that people should plan to travel overseas because vaccines "are on the horizon" are "not very responsible".
Average Daily COVID-19-Related Deaths Number
The number of COVID-19-related deaths in Ireland is averaging 44 a day as of Thursday January 21, which chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group Professor Philip Nolan pointed out is the highest number that the country has experienced during the pandemic to date.
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