Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has revealed that NPHET will not be advising the reopening of wet pubs for weeks "at least" as public health officials focus on the back to school period.
Pubs not serving food have been closed since March with a number of reopening dates pushed back by government guidelines. It now looks extremely unlikely these pubs will re-open next week as indicated during the last round of restrictions.
Dr Glynn said he commits to keeping the reopening of pubs “under review both nationally and on a regional basis" but added, "as I have said previously, we absolutely recognise the impact this has had on small family businesses around the country and on communities that rely on their local pubs as a key social point of contact for people."
“For the next few weeks at least, our priority has to be the reopening of our education system, ensuring that goes smoothly in the context of a set of measures that are already in place for the country around reducing congregation," Dr Glynn added.
"Pubs can’t open right now," he stated.
"I really do understand the pain and the anguish and the suffering that that is causing for so many publicans and their staff around the country, but based on public health advice and what’s required to suppress this virus and avoid a second lockdown, that is a very clear position of the National Public Health Emergency Team."
He said pubs not serving food and operating practically as restaurants would reopen "as soon as it is safe to do so." He concluded that NPHET's focus was the educational system and avoiding a second national lockdown.
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