Ireland: Govt pushes back reopening of bar as covid-19 cases double

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Ireland on Tuesday announced a fresh delay to the full reopening of bars, putting off a move to the final stage out of lockdown by three weeks while also tightening travel restrictions after new COVID-19 infections more than doubled in a week.

“I know that this will come as a blow to pub owners and I want them to know I have enormous sympathy for their plight. This virus is taking away their ability to earn a living, to provide a key service in the heart of many communities,” Prime Minister Micheal Martin told a news conference.

“But we are doing what we are doing to save lives and to give our society and economy the best chance we can to open safely and sustainably,” he said, while also trimming Ireland’s “green list” of travel destinations to 10 countries from 15.