Midnight closing for pubs in Ireland

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Level Five Restrictions Extended Across Ireland Until April 5
Taoiseach Micheál Martin addresses the nation at Government Buildings. image- Wikicommons

The government in Ireland has once again reintroduced measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 by agreeing the midnight closing for pubs in Ireland from this Friday.

Pubs, clubs and restaurants will effectively have a new closing time of midnight from this Thursday following a cabinet decision this morning. The ruling comes on the back of increasing pressure on hospitals as Covid-19 once again spreads across the country. The decision to close these establishments comes just a month after a 19 months closure finished.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) in reacting to the news called on the government to reintroduce support for the late night sector, as did the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI). The Covid Recovery Support Scheme (CRSS) which ended some months back is seen as crucial to the survival of the sector.

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LVA CEO Donall O’Keefe today said that “the latest announcement means that the government strategy is not working. We were told that if we waited until the majority of the public was vaccinated, we would be able to get back to trading. Well, we waited and that wasn’t enough.” He added “It also needs to be acknowledged that every time the government flicks the switch on restrictions that there are consequences for people’s livelihoods and the business that sustain them.”

Speaking prior to the cabinet meeting Taoiseach Michaél Martin said that “the current situation is very concerning” and that “there is an obligation on everyone to reduce social interactions to help reduce infection rates.”

Modelling presented at the meeting showed that up to 500 people would require ICU treatment by the and of the month if the virus were to continue on its current trajectory. The decision to reintroduce midnight closing for pubs comes as the number of people in hospital reaches its highest level since February.


Currently 622 people are in hospital with 117 in intensive care.


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