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Chief Medical Officer doesn't see 'any realistic prospects' of pubs opening in June

By Brian Dillon

May 8, 2020 at 10:55am

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said that he is considering a plea from The Licensed Vintners’ Association (LVA) and Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) that would see pubs opening in June, six weeks before initially set out in the government's plan.

However, he told RTÉ Radio 1 this morning that he doesn't see 'any realistic prospects' of pubs reopening in June.

Pubs are among other establishments that fall under Phase 5 of the government's plan to reopen the economy.

 

Dr Holohan previously said: “There has been correspondence and we are in the process of giving consideration to that and we will respond to them. It’s under consideration at the moment.”

The LVA and VFI have drawn up 'radical' proposals that would allow them to open in June.

Included in these blueprints were various guidelines that pubs and bars would follow in order to adhere to social distancing, including shutting off bar areas, table service, banning music and limiting the number of customers allowed into the establishment at one time.

However, Professor Philip Nolan, the National Public Health Emergency Team’s modelling expert, explained how he would not enter a crowded pub even after lockdown measures had been lifted.

He said, "In the distant future when perhaps they are, just as I wouldn’t go into a dirty restaurant now I am not going to go into a crowded pub in the future. Each of us has to evaluate the risk. There is no room for complacency."

Last week, the government published a roadmap to reopen Ireland, which is set to begin on May 18.

Yesterday, Leo Varadkar told the Dáil when he thinks air travel for leisure might resume. He said, "I am keen to see a return to international air travel as soon as feasible. There is a lot of work to do but I am more optimistic than others that air travel for business and leisure will resume this year."

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