He has also said Ireland is “not necessarily” facing another lockdown next year, but that the situation is being kept under review.
Speaking in Carrigaline yesterday, the Taoiseach said that opening everything was “not tenable”, but believes they have struck a balance in terms of what sectors and industries have been permitted to open their doors again.
“The correct balance was arrived at, and if wet pubs were opened, there’s no doubt we would be facing very dramatically escalating numbers [of Covid-19 cases] by the end of this month,” said the Taoiseach.
“That, unfortunately, is the reality.”
However, he said that did not mean he was casting any aspersions on pub owners.
“It’s not their fault, it’s just the nature of what has happened in pubs in the autumn period which we have tracked and we know about.”
He highlighted the extra Covid restrictions support scheme funding being given to pubs that have to remain closed, and acknowledged that it is a “very difficult” time for publicans.