Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned he could look to secure powers to enforce the curtailment of large gatherings in pubs.
That’s after scenes of drunken behaviour and sing songs in Dublin’s city centre last night raised concerns with officials and government ministers, The Guardian reports.
Images on social media revealed a packed pub in Temple Bar over the weekend and has received harsh criticism from Paul Reid, the CEO of the Health Service Executive (HSE) as well as concerned ministers.
No indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people applies to pubs & clubs. Have asked NPHET for further expert guidance on this. May seek enforcement powers from Dail/Seanad.
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) March 15, 2020
The Taoiseach added with this advice:
“People who have been out this weekend should avoid physical contact with seniors or people with chronic diseases. You could make them very very sick.”
The Taoiseach’s warning comes after European affairs minister Helen McEntee expressed deep concern about mass gatherings in pubs. She implored the public to stay safe and pay attention to social distancing advice
The minister warned that such closures of the hospitality sector would have dire consequences for business owners, their workers and families.
A decision to close pubs restaurants and other outlets will have a devastating impact on so many workers. Unless people listen to public health advice and take this seriously then that’s where this is headed. Please think about your actions. #COVID19 https://t.co/d6vvmqhUCV
— Helen McEntee TD (@HMcEntee) March 14, 2020
According to Breaking News, Health Minister Simon Harris dubbed the video doing the rounds on social media as an ‘insult’ to the good work of nurses and doctors making preparations for a pandemic.
Not far from here, nurses & doctors are working to prepare for the impact of a global pandemic. Everyone is working 24/7. This is an insult to their efforts. There is very clear public health advice. Follow it. All options will be kept under constant review #CoronaVirusUpdates https://t.co/XQvJ7tC13D
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) March 14, 2020