The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) yesterday warned the government against moving into the fourth stage of the roadmap for reopening the country.

LATEST: The Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) says the Government decision to postpone the planned reopening of pubs next Monday is a shocking development that will have huge ramifications for family-run pubs across Ireland.

The Cabinet is expected to announce shortly that the reopening of pubs and nightclubs will be deferred to 10 August.

“This is a shocking decision not to proceed with the planned reopening of pubs and will be a hammer blow to thousands of pubs and their local communities around the country," VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben says.
"The vast majority of these pubs are small rural outlets run by families who are on first-name terms with their customers and far removed from the crowded venues that concern NPHET. 

"As controlled venues we believe these pubs should be allowed open as they are far safer than the likes of uncontrolled house parties and pose little threat to public health.

“We are in a situation where restaurants and pubs already open are having to cope with larger crowds. Opening all pubs would allow for better social distancing and reduce the risk of infection.

“Publicans are reeling from this news. They did everything asked of them by remaining shut for over four months and our members had a reasonable expectation the sector would reopen next Monday. All other phases went smoothly so to now tell publicans they can’t open like the rest of the hospitality sector makes little sense. This is a decision made by politicians who appear divorced from reality about life in rural Ireland.”

EARLIER: The Cabinet is expected to announce shortly that the reopening of pubs and nightclubs will be deferred to 10 August.

Pubs and nightclubs were due to reopen this coming Monday but the Cabinet has decided to push back the date over fears about the rise in coronavirus cases.

The Government is concerned about the rise in infections among younger people who are more likely to go to pubs or attend mass gatherings.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) yesterday warned the government against moving into the fourth stage of the roadmap for reopening the country.

Its concerns were around the rise in cases that were seen yesterday and the uncertainty about the virus spread, including the increase in cases involving young people.

The number of clusters or outbreaks of Covid-19 reported in private households increased by 96, in the week to last Sunday, according to the latest figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Most of these outbreaks were seen in the east of the country where 72 outbreaks were recorded.

There were a total of 1,217 clusters or outbreaks in private houses recorded up to last Sunday, July 12, the report says.

It compares with a total of 1,121 outbreaks reported to the HPSC up to Sunday, July 5.

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