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Varadkar tells pubs and restaurants to prepare for closure until end of March

By James Fenton

January 7, 2021 at 9:52am

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An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that if he was running a business, he would "be thinking that it's a probability that I'll be closed until the end of March."

Speaking at yesterday's press briefing to announce tighter Covid-19 restrictions, Varadkar said although the vaccination process expected to ramp up over the coming weeks, "it's very hard to make predictions and projections. I think any time we do when it comes to Covid there's about a 50% chance you're going to be proven wrong and this a virus that has torn up our plans on many occasions."

When asked about how long businesses such as pubs and restaurants can expect to be closed for, Varadkar answered: "Speaking as the Minister for Enterprise to people who run a business, if I was running a business now I would be thinking that it's a probability that I'll be closed until the end of March." He added that the situation will be reviewed on January 30. The hospitality trade was ordered to close on Christmas Eve amid rising Covid-19 numbers, while pubs that don't serve food have been shut since March 2020.

At the same press briefing yesterday, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin told publicans to "forget about takeaway pints" before the Licensed Vintners Association tweeted that 'We agree with the Taoiseach, in the current circumstances no pub should be selling takeaway pints for consumption on the streets.'

This morning, it has been confirmed that 1,022 are now being treated for Covid-19 in hospitals across Ireland.
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