Cabinet to decide on pubs reopening and 'green list'

The Cabinet will meet today to consider if the next phase of the roadmap for reopening the country will go ahead as planned next Monday.

The primary focus will be health advice on the potential impact the full reopening of pubs may have on schools resuming in September.

It comes as the number of new cases of Covid-19 reported in the past week remains high, with 46 new infections recorded yesterday – 85 per cent of which were in people under the age of 45.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said his number one focus is getting school pupils back behind their desks by September.

Today’s meeting will see Government discuss plans for increasing outdoor gatherings from 200 to 500 people.

Ministers will also discuss the planned reopening of pubs of pubs on August 10th. However, if advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) suggests a full return of licensed premises risks a spike in cases, that reopening could be torpedoed. A meeting of Nphet is expected to take place before Cabinet, and this afternoon Mr Donnelly will brief his colleagues on its latest advice.

Opposition politicians argue pubs are being "singled out" and that restaurants have been allowed to reopen with no associated surge in cases.

Travel restrictions

Meanwhile, the cabinet is also expected to discuss the introduction of random testing for Covid-19 at airports, along with other measures to tighten restrictions on those arriving into the State from Covid-19 hotspots.

The possible removal of some countries from the green list is also expected to be on the agenda, as cases of the virus continue to creep upwards in some countries across Europe.

Malta and Cyprus may be removed from the green list of countries from which travellers do not have to complete a 14-day quarantine upon their return, according to the Irish Times.