Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that he "can't guarantee" that pubs will reopen at all in 2020 after last night's announcement that they will remain closed for another three weeks.
Pubs around Ireland that don't serve food were expecting to be allowed to reopen next Monday for the first time since March. However, the Government confirmed that due to recent spikes in Covid-19 cases, this has been pushed back until at least August 31.
It was a bleak outcome for establishments around the country and a number of pubs have already expressed their frustrations at the decision. An Taoiseach, meanwhile, hasn't ruled out the possibility of the situation getting worse for the industry before it gets better.
When pressed last night whether pubs will be opening at all in 2020, Micheál Martin said: "Obviously I can’t guarantee for this year but we would hope they can of course. That is the objective but it very much depends on the virus and how much we can keep the virus down."
As well as the news that pubs will remain closed until at least August 31, the public was also told that the maximum number of people allowed at an indoor gathering will remain at 50 until the same date, while the limit for outdoor gatherings will remain at 200.