Phase 3: Pubs urged to take responsibility as Ireland takes step 'back to normality'

Pubs that serve food can reopen today in Phase 3 of the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Hairdressers, barbers, gyms, pools, cinemas and churches are also allowed to open.

It has been 15 weeks since pubs have been allowed to serve customers inside the premises.

Pubs that do not serve food will be allowed to reopen on July 20.

From today, pubs serving food are allowed trade and sell alcohol so long as a meal worth €9 is also served.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) said that pubs reopening “marks a milestone moment in the recovery of the country”.

The LVA urged publicans to ensure they take responsibility and make sure social distancing guidelines are being met.

“With the public health situation improving, the reopening of pubs will be an indicator of Ireland’s emergence from the lockdown,” said chief executive of the LVA, Donall O’Keeffe.

“It will signal to the outside world that our country is beginning the journey back to normality and our economy is once again open for business.”

Sporting activities, including close contact sports and team leagues for adults and children will be allowed to take place but spectator limits will remain.

Mass gatherings, including weddings, of 50 people indoors and 200 people will also be allowed.

Also on Monday, face coverings will be compulsory on public transport as capacity on buses, trains and trams will increase from 20% to about 50%.

In conjunction with this move, face coverings will be compulsory on all public transport services.

Wearing a face covering in crowded situations such as public transport was already being strongly recommended.

At this stage, our focus and that of the operators is on education, awareness and giving our customers every encouragement to wear a face covering

Anne Graham, chief executive of the National Transport Authority, said people are being asked to do the right thing and exercise their personal responsibility.

She said: “This is an important part of efforts to build confidence in public transport as more people return to work over the coming weeks and months.

“At this stage, our focus and that of the operators is on education, awareness and giving our customers every encouragement to wear a face covering.”

One more Covid-19 death was confirmed in Ireland on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 1,735.

A further three cases of Covid-19 were confirmed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 25,439.

The HSE said it is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.