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Coronavirus: All pubs in Republic of Ireland asked to close as government urges against house parties

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The Republic's Health Minister Simon Harris

The Republic's Health Minister Simon Harris

The Republic's Health Minister Simon Harris

All pubs in the Republic of Ireland have been asked to close in a bid to tackle the spread of coronavirus, Health Minister Simon Harris has confirmed.

Following a meeting with the Vintners' Federation of Ireland on Sunday evening, Mr Harris said that all pubs and bars, including hotel bars, should close from this evening until at least March 29.

The Government is also advising against house parties as they urge people to practice social distancing.

A Government statement said: "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 Government, having consulted with the Chief Medical Officer, believes that this is an essential public health measure given the reports of reckless behaviour by some members of the public in certain pubs last night."

Irish Independent