The Government has clarified rules regarding the current Level 5 lockdown in place across the country, with Taoiseach Micheál Martin saying that “No publican should sell takeaway pints”.
The news follows a Cabinet meeting during which it was also confirmed that schools will remain closed until at least the start of February, with the exception of special education services and final year Leaving Certificate classes, who can attend school for three days a week. The resumption of the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is delayed until 1st February.
The Taoiseach spoke at a press conference following the Cabinet meeting, where he outlied a range of new restrictions in addition to the existing Level 5 measures currently in place.
Micheál Martin said: “We are in a battle against the deadly and ever changing virus, the lockdown we are introducing today is designed to reflect that stark and simple reality. Unless you were involved in absolutely essential work, you have no reason to be away from your home and you simply must stay at home.”
During the Government press conference, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar warned of the high likelihood of an extended period of closure, saying: “If I was running a business now, I’d be thinking there is a probability I could be closing until the end of March”.
All wet pubs, clubs, casinos and bars are to remain closed, and hotels are to open only for essential non-social and non-tourist purposes.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has called for “The urgent & accelerated rollout of the vaccine programme for Ireland plus the inclusion of private sector logistical experts to the Vaccine Rollout Taskforce in order to get enterprises & businesses open safely”.
The RAI is also calling on its members to adhere to the request to cease selling takeaway pints in the interest of public health.