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Pubs will stay closed over Christmas : Taoiseach Micheál Martin

The Taoiseach has signalled that pubs will remain closed over Christmas, saying we won’t be seeing the traditional gatherings in the country’s bars this year.

Michéal Martin said the Government want Ireland to exit Level 5 on December 1. He said people have made a lot of sacrifices with severe restrictions for six long weeks. But he said a lot of work is will inform how we propose to exist Level 5.

He also warned that the Christmas is not going to be crowded as in the previous year.

He added that he couldn’t see the pubs crowded as everyone was used to as this would escalate the spread of viruses.

But public health chiefs have warned the progress in bringing down levels of the virus made during lockdown has stalled and say the next two weeks will be critical.

Four further COVID-19-linked deaths were reported Saturday, along with 344 confirmed cases. As of 2pm Saturday, 269 coronavirus patients were in hospital, 32 of whom were in intensive care.

The Taoiseach reminded that everyone need to work very hard over the next two weeks to get the numbers down.

He said the news about the vaccine and the fall in number of Covid cases might have brought the lapse. He hope that we could double down the number of contacts before December 1.

He assured that Government will meet next week on a number of occasions to make decisions in relation to these issues. Government will discuss about the precise manner to exit Level 5 next week.

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