Off licences should close during Covid-19 crisis, says public health expert

Off licences should follow pubs in shutting up shop for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a public health expert.

They can still operate throughout the current restrictions but it has been questioned if it is an essential service.

Professor of public health at Trinity College Joe Barry says closing them would prevent excessive drinking during the Covid-19 crisis.

"One of the ways of reducing liver failure occurring in people who are heavy drinkers, of whom there are about 180,000 in Ireland - is to reduce the supply," said Prof Barry.

"In any country that it has been done, it does reduce the overall level of harm and the overall level of liver failure as a result."

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024