Dublin was in the grip of Level 5 fever last night. As restaurants and bars with outdoor areas were preparing to close their doors for 6 weeks, they found themselves overwhelmed by the numbers of people searching for that last few moments of legal socialising before the shutters came down. From yesterday afternoon both hospitality businesses and shops, already shutting down in preparation for Level 5, found their tables and aisles mobbed. People were counting down until midnight.
In the afternoon, Grafton Street was busy and there was an end-of-the-world buzz. Buskers on the street attracted good crowds and people were freely dancing to the music. People wished each other well, saying that they’d see each other on the other side
However, while most people were socialising with friends and family in a safe and controlled way in Dublin’s bars and restaurants last night, shocking scenes of unbridled celebration were taking place on Grafton Street. Footage of the street party is spreading across social media this morning.
Another video posted on Tik Tok from Grafton Street tonight.
— Barry Whyte (@BarryWhyte85) October 21, 2020
Was it just a last splash before lockdown or was it a sign of things to come? Many of the people in the footage are seen without face masks. There are fears this morning that if this kind of group activity breaks out with any regularity during the Level 5 lockdown, numbers of new cases of Covid 19 will not come down as desired.
With only a few weeks left before Christmas, once the Level 5 period ends, retailers are already fearing a very lean December. They are now worried that the Level 5 lockdown will be extended were street parties like this to continue.