Ireland's pubs hit with another hammer blow as Dublin's wet pubs have been forced to stay closed again!
Dublin pubs are set to stay shuttered next week in another hammer blow for publicans.
Soaring Covid figures up to 30 times higher in Dublin than in other counties will force the hand of Government this morning.
Sources said Cabinet ministers felt they were left with little choice but to treat Dublin as a special case after a marathon Covid subcommittee meeting crunched the numbers on Monday night.
As a result of its huge number of cases, Dublin is facing stricter lockdown restrictions.
The Cabinet will have a breakfast meeting on Tuesday where it is expected to rubberstamp the recommendations of the Covid sub-committee.
The special group of ministers, including Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, decided that the surge in numbers means Dublin will have to be treated differently.
The Auld Dubliner & Olver St John Gogarty pubs which are closed during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Dublin's city Centre. (Image: Gareth Chaney/Collins) There were 208 new cases announced on Monday and Dublin continues to have far more cases than any other country or region, with 108 of those new cases.
The 14 day average in Dublin, at 89.1 cases per 100,000, is twice the national average of 46.8 and more than ten times higher than the incidence in the country’s second biggest region, Cork, on 8.5.
All this has led the Government to conclude that drastic measures will now have to see Dublin hit with stricter restrictions.
Brogans Pub on Dame Street during the Coronavirus Covid 19 pandemic in Dublin's city centre. (Image: Gareth Chaney/Collins) Ministers will not formally sign off the expected stricter restrictions regime for Dublin until after a Cabinet meeting this morning.
But Tánaiste Leo Varadkar let the cat out of the bag early Monday when he revealed that he believes the massive surge in the Capital means the county will have to be treated differently.
Mr Varadkar indicated there will be special treatment for Dubs when he said: “The situation in Dublin is different to the rest of the country and that will require a different response and that will be borne in mind in any decision we make.”
Tuesday morning will see the Government outline the details of its new medium-term alert plan to see us through the next six to nine months of Covid, Living with Covid.
It comes as the HSE told GPs nationwide that they can advise patients that the 14 day quarantine for Covid is now being cut to 10.
The new roadmap will see the country managed through a five level alert system, with level one having the least restrictions and level five the most severe.
Although the Government hates the term lockdown, level five would see a return to something like what we saw when the national lockdown was introduced at the end of March.
Sources have said that the country will be pitched at level two on Tuesday, but that Dublin will have to be set at level three for now because of the surging figures.
Social distancing and restrictions on gatherings, to different degrees, will apply at all levels of the plan.
Leo Varadkar explained why Dublin will now have to be treated differently.
He said: “The truth is the situation in Dublin is worrying.
“We’ve seen a situation where the incidence of the virus was as low as five or six per 100,000 over 14 days and now it’s hitting about 80.
“So, depending on how you count it, it’s a 10 or 20 fold increase in the incidence of the virus in Dublin in the space of a few weeks.
“And while that has not yet resulted in a dramatic increase in people in hospitals, in ICUs, or in deaths, the truth is it is probably going to head that way if we don’t get on top of it.
“And we watch what’s happening in Madrid and Spain and we don’t want to go there.”
Mr Varadkar added: “The situation in Dublin is different to the rest of the country and that will require a different response and that will be borne in mind in any decision we make.
“I live in Dublin and I don’t want to see any additional restrictions imposed on my constituents unless it’s absolutely necessary.
“And as Minister for Enterprise and Employment I don’t want to see any additional businesses close, or people being laid off for the second time in a year.
“But at the same time I am absolutely convinced that the best economic policy is to put public health first."