The Republic of Ireland has called on bars and pubs to close until the end of March in an effort to slow down the progression of the coronavirus which has now claimed the life of a second person in the country.
The plans to help curb the spread of the virus, which come just days before St Patrick’s Day, aim to see all public houses and bars close from this evening until at least March 29.
The government’s move comes as the virus claimed the life of a second person in the country and 40 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed – bringing the total number of people affected in the Republic to 169.
Among the new cases, which include 23 males and 17 females, 25 are associated with the east of the country, nine are associated with the west and six are associated with the south.
In a statement the Government said: ‘Following discussions today with the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), the Government is now calling on all public houses and bars (including hotel bars) to close from this evening (March 15) until at least March 29.
The Republic of Ireland government has asked that bars and pubs in the country close until at least March 29 in an effort to slow down the progression of the coronavirus. (Stock image)
Earlier today the Irish Prime Minsiter Leo Varadkar urged people to refrain from mass gatherings to stop the spread of Covid-19
The calls comes after The Temple Bar in Dublin (pictured) announced that it would be shutting down all its bars and nightclubs with immediate effect
‘The LVA and VFI outlined the real difficulty in implementing the published Guidelines on Social Distancing in a public house setting, as pubs are specifically designed to promote social interaction in a situation where alcohol reduces personal inhibitions.
‘For the same reason, the Government is also calling on all members of the public not to organise or participate in any parties in private houses or other venues which would put other peoples’ health at risk.’
The plans comes as Dublin’s Temple Bar announced a complete shutdown of all its bars and nightclubs with immediate effect.
The move means no bars will be open in the area for St Patrick’s Day, one of the busiest days in the Irish tourism calendar.
Martin Harte, of the Temple Bar Company, said the decision was taken voluntarily and that ‘this is the owners of all pubs sitting down and deciding this is the best thing to do in terms of public health and safety’.