We’ll know more after today’s Cabinet meeting.
The Government will discuss a potential ban and new restrictions on takeaway pints and street drinking today, after videos of large groups socialising in Cork and Dublin surfaced over the weekend.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin described the scenes as extremely concerning, saying it “flies in the face of what’s acceptable in terms of adherence to the guidelines and regulations.”
The Government is considering new fines for drinking in the street, what's your take on takeaway pints?🍺
— Yay Cork (@yaycork) November 17, 2020
Meanwhile, local publicans and restaurant owners are growing increasingly frustrated at what they see as an overreaction to the viral videos, highlighting instead the lack of clarity on how the industry will face the challenges of reopening when the current Level 5 restrictions are lifted on December 1st.
Taoiseach ‘keeping an open mind’ on Christmas gatherings
With a further 456 cases on Covid-19 confirmed in the past 24 hours, 43 of which were in Cork, and five additional deaths, there are currently 274 patients battling coronavirus in hospital, of which 33 are in ICU.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, the Taoiseach said he is keeping an open mind about how Ireland can enjoy the holiday without worsening the Covid-19 situation and putting vulnerable people in danger.
I wonder when this pandemic is all over, will we look back back with a little disappointment and embarrassment that drinking Alcohol played such a major factor in our response
— Liberty Grill (@libertygrill) November 17, 2020
“What is Christmas about? Family meeting family. In my own situation, every Christmas my twin brother comes with his family and we have Christmas dinner together.” he told the newspaper.
“I don’t think we will have that this year, I don’t think we are going to have multiple families coming in [to one home] and multiple calls. But I am also keeping an open mind around what will happen on the specific days of Christmas itself.
“We have to be practical. We understand the importance of this period psychologically. We will get the balance right. In saying that, we don’t want to be in January where we were in October. If we all watch our behaviour, we can do a lot.” he added.