Dublin’s drink-only pubs will not reopen next week due to rising Covid cases

Dublin’s drink only-pubs will not be allowed to reopen next week as planned due to rising coronavirus cases in the capital.

The move to delay the September 21st reopening for pubs that don’t serve food in Dublin is due to be signed off by the Cabinet on Tuesday morning as the Government delivers its new Living with Covid-19 five-level plan.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar on Monday said the “worrying” increase in coronavirus infections in Dublin would require additional restrictions and a “different response” than in the rest of the country.

The Government is due to announce a new five-level alert plan to deal with the virus on Tuesday, with the expectation that the country will be placed at Level Two, the second most benign response, with additional restrictions expected for Dublin and the county possibly being set at an escalated restriction Level Three.

The Coalition party leaders met on Monday afternoon. There was also a meeting of the Cabinet subcommittee on the Covid-19 response with the acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.

Expressing concern about a 20-fold increase in Covid-19 cases in Dublin in the space of a few weeks, Mr Varadkar said the Government would make a decision on restrictions on Tuesday.

“While that has not yet resulted in a dramatic increase in people in hospital or ICUs or deaths, the truth is that it is probably going to head that way if we don’t get on top of it,” he said.

The incidence of Covid-19 in two areas of Dublin has risen above the 100 mark per 100,000 population for the first time since the spring, new figures show.

The 14-day incidence of the virus now stands at 107.5 per 100,000 people in Dublin South-East and 116 in Dublin North-West, according to the latest epidemiological report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Effectively, this means about one person in a thousand in each area has contracted the disease over the past fortnight.

A total of 1,068 cases were notified in Dublin over the two-week period up to last Friday.