The Irish Government has called for all public houses in Ireland to shut from midnight tonight. The closure is expected to remain until at least March 29th.
A statement issued by the department of the Taoiseach goes on to advise against private house parties as well as social gatherings that could endanger the public’s health.
The decision was reached after discussions with the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) and the Licenced Vintners Association (LVA).
The department of the Taoiseach said in the statement that was issued this evening:
“Following discussions today with the Licenced Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), the Government is now calling on all public houses and bars (including hotel bars) to close from this evening (Sunday 15 March) until at least 29 March.
“The LVA and VFI outlined the real difficulty in implementing the published Guidelines on Social Distancing in a public house setting, as pubs are specifically designed to promote social interaction in a situation where alcohol reduces personal inhibitions.”
“For the same reason, the Government is also calling on all members of the public not to organise or participate in any parties in private houses or other venues which would put other peoples’ health at risk.
“The Government, having consulted with the Chief Medical Officer, believes that this is an essential public health measure given the reports of reckless behaviour by some members of the public in certain pubs last night.
“While the Government acknowledges that the majority of the public and pub owners are behaving responsibly, it believes it is important that all pubs are closed in advance of St. Patricks’ Day.
“The Licenced Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) both supported this decision and urged all their members to close in line with the Government’s request.”