July 31, 2021

COVID-19 LATEST: 16 more die from virus, pubs unveil plans to re-open six weeks earlier

Sixteen more people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 266 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.

It brings the overall death toll as a result of ther virus to 1,319. There are now 21,772 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country.

The latest casualties were confirmed as publicans put forward a new plan in a bid to convince public health officials to allow bars to reopen six weeks earlier than planned.

Under the Government’s road map pubs are not scheduled to reopen until August. However, two representative groups are hoping new arrangements could see pubs opening from the end of June, along with cafes and restaurants.

The Licensed Vintners’ Association and the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland have written to the Government accepting an invitation to discuss the road map and its implications for pubs as a matter of urgency.

The two organisations are proposing strict protocols for staff and customers to allow pubs to reopen while continuing to protect public health.

The measures include confining the number of people sitting at a table to six, no more than four people per every 10sq.m and table service will be a requirement.

Under the plans, premises would become dispense bars only with no sitting, standing, ordering, payment or drinking at the counter allowed.

All customers would remain seated and staff would be fully trained in the new procedures, including hand washing every 30 minutes.

The measures include utilisation of outdoor spaces to enhance social distancing and there will be no live music or DJs allowed.

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