| 13.5°C Belfast

Gardai to check pubs for compliance with Covid-19 laws

Bars which serve a substantial meal with drink were allowed to open their doors on Monday as restrictions eased.

Gardai are to conduct Covid-19 compliance checks on pubs “ignoring” the rules in Ireland this weekend.

The operation begins on Friday evening amid concern some establishments are flouting regulations designed to suppress the disease.

Bars which serve a substantial meal with drink were allowed to open their doors earlier this week as socialising restrictions eased.

This is not acceptable and we are now expanding our planned checksJohn Twomey

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said: “It now appears that just a few days after their introduction some licensed premises and their customers are ignoring the public health guidelines.

“By doing so, they are putting themselves and everyone they then come into contact with at risk of getting Covid-19.

“This is not acceptable and we are now expanding our planned checks.”

Pubs operating as restaurants were able to open on Monday, while others must remain closed until July 20.

Senior gardai, industry representative bodies and members of the public have expressed concern some premises and their customers have not adhered to the guidelines.

The deputy commissioner added: “When licensed premises were initially shut under the public health guidelines An Garda Siochana checked thousands of licensed premises to ensure they remained closed, which the vast, vast majority did.

“Our intention in this latest phase was to conduct a large number of spot-checks of licensed premises.”

Close

Taoiseach Micheal Martin chaired a meeting on Friday of Government ministers and promised “strong enforcement” (Julien Behal/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin chaired a meeting on Friday of Government ministers and promised “strong enforcement” (Julien Behal/PA)

PA

Taoiseach Micheal Martin chaired a meeting on Friday of Government ministers and promised “strong enforcement” (Julien Behal/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin chaired a meeting on Friday of Government ministers and promised “strong enforcement”.

A Government statement  expressed concern that pubs operating as restaurants should continue to operate in accordance with public health guidelines.

“The Government will review a report on compliance from the relevant state authorities, including An Garda Siochana, the public health, and health and safety authorities, at its meeting on Monday,” it said.

“Strong enforcement measures will be taken against premises that are not operating in accordance with public health guidelines.”

Former chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has urged people to take individual responsibility for deciding whether premises looked safe to enter.

Two more people have died with Covid-19, the National Public Health Emergency Team said on Friday.

There has now been a total of 1,740 deaths related to the disease.

As of midnight on July 2, public health doctors have been notified of nine more confirmed cases.

There is now a total of 25,498 confirmed cases in Ireland.

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting chief medical officer, said: “Ireland’s 14-day incidence of Covid-19 is now less than three cases per 100,000.

“This is amongst the lowest in Europe and demonstrates that the disease remains suppressed in our communities.

“The key to maintaining this status is responsible individual behaviours and avoiding any complacency.”

New figures from the Central Bank show that just over one million people, or 22.5% of the population, are now out of work.

In its report published on Friday, it warned the unemployment rate may not return to pre-Covid-19 levels until 2024.

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) will not come to an abrupt end in August, the Finance Minister has said.

PA