All pubs and bars in Ireland asked to close from tonight until at least March 29
A significant update mid the Covid-19 outbreak.
All pubs and bars in Ireland, including those in hotels, have been asked to close from tonight until at least March 29.
The government made the recommendation today following a meeting with the Licensed Vintners Association and the Vintners Federation of Ireland.
RTÉ News reports that the government has also asked the public not to engage in or organise events or parties in other venues, as this would continue to put people's lives at risk.
The recommendation does not include restaurants and cafés, which will be kept under review in the coming days.
This comes after a number of videos and photos depicting packed pubs and bars were shared widely across social media this weekend.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said this morning that he was considering seeking enforcement powers from the Dáil to include pubs and clubs in the government recommendations for Covid-19 made earlier this week.
"No indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people applies to pubs & clubs," he said on Twitter. "Have asked NPHET for further expert guidance on this. May seek enforcement powers from Dáil/Seanad."
Earlier today, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald called for "robust instructions" to aid in the closure of pubs across the country.
"Social distancing means staying at home or away from crowds as much as possible," she said.
"This message is getting through to some people, but it is being ignored by others and large groups of people in pubs were evident over the weekend so far.
"These are extraordinary times and they call for extraordinary measures."
Schools, colleges, and childcare facilities across Ireland have been closed since Thursday. It has been highly recommended that indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people be cancelled.