Ireland Considers Afternoon Closing Time for Bars to Curb Virus
(Bloomberg) -- Ireland may close bars and restaurants at 5 p.m. under new proposals to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Health officials have recommended early closing for pubs, restaurants, sport, theater and cultural gatherings from Dec. 20, as part of plans to be discussed by government in Dublin on Friday, according to national broadcaster RTE. Hospitality venues currently have to close by midnight.
Capacity should also be cut to 50% for outdoor events, according to the advice.
Ireland reported over 4,000 new virus cases on Dec. 16, with omicron now accounting for about a quarter of all cases. The nation suffered one of the world’s worst virus outbreaks in January, after the government relaxed restrictions on hospitality in December, in a bid to allow what Prime Minister Micheal Martin called a “meaningful Christmas.”
This year, Martin has warned of a ‘very significant wave’ of the omicron variant emerging over the festive period, and urged caution while the government ramps up its booster program.
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