Dr. Holohan is "not expecting to recommend" Christmas drinks in pubs this year

By James Fenton

November 10, 2020 at 9:26am


Dr. Tony Holohan has said that he is "not expecting" to recommend that people gather in pubs for Christmas drinks this year.

With Level 5 restrictions scheduled to end on December 1, many in the retail and hospitality sectors have called for clarity so that they can prepare for a busy Christmas season. However, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan said yesterday that he "does not expect to be recommending Christmas drinks".

Speaking as 270 new cases of Covid-19 were reported yesterday evening, the lowest daily figure since September, Dr. Holohan said: "That is not our advice and it is not the advice I anticipate giving and I am not going to start speculating any further than that on exactly what we are going to say," in regards to NPHET recommendations for December.

He added that: "We are going to give what we think is the appropriate advice in relation to what we think are safe and effective measures we think we can adopt and I am not going to speculate one way or another".

Reacting to Dr. Holohan's comments, Noel Anderson of the Licensed Vintner's Association has posted on social media this morning to say: 'If true, house parties will go through the roof. Staff won’t have the money to pay for Christmas for their families. It will force hospitality closer to the brink, mental health issues will go off the charts. Street drinking will become uncontrollable, in a nutshell a disaster'.

Currently, under Level 5 restrictions, pubs and restaurants are only allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services. Last week, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that he hoped to see a mix of Level 2 and Level 3 restrictions in December. Under Level 2, wet pubs could be allowed to open with 'robust protective measures in place, e.g. physical distancing, table service only, cleaning regimes, noise controls and so on'.

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