Ireland’s Bars, Restaurants to Close Early During Holiday Season
(Bloomberg) -- Irish bars and eateries will close at 8 p.m. during the holiday season under government plans to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The closing time applies from Monday until Jan. 30 to pubs, restaurants, sports, theaters, cinemas and cultural gatherings, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said in an address Friday evening. Health officials had recommended a 5 p.m. closing time.
Maximum capacity will be cut to the lesser of 50% or 5,000 for outdoor events and 50% or 1,000 for indoors.
“Left unchecked, this new strain will represent a very significant threat to hospital and critical care, but also a threat to all society and the economy,” Martin said.
Ireland reported more than 3,628 new cases on Friday with omicron accounting for about 35% of cases.
The country suffered one of the world’s worst virus outbreaks in January after the government relaxed restrictions on hospitality last December to allow what 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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