Pubs And Shops Could Stay Shut Over Christmas Says Varadkar

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Pubs And Shops Could Stay Shut Over Christmas Says Varadkar
Christmas Could Still Be Cancelled

Business leaders were stunned at the news last night that pubs and shops may remain shut into December and over the Christmas period if we don’t get the R number down to 0.7 or below. The R number is the number of people that a Covid positive person is likely to go on to infect. Currently, in Ireland the R number is well over 1 and is estimated, in some areas to be as high as 1.8.

The news was delivered by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in a late night conference call after the government had announced that the entire country would be moving to Level 5 restrictions from midnight on Wednesday.

It will be very difficult to reduce the R number so significantly over the 6 period of the new lockdown. However, Mr Varadkar is said to have explained that such a reduction is the only way for it to be possible to open up society to some degree in time for Christmas.

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The hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. They had hoped that they would get to open for the Christmas period but now that hangs in the balance. Retailers were not expecting the precarity of their position, however. The threat of full closures remaining in place throughout the busiest period of the year must certainly have concentrated minds.