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Early closing times for pubs & restaurants expected to end on Saturday

Early closing times for pubs and restaurants are expected to be lifted from Saturday, but Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said the Covid-19 pandemic is not over and that work remains to be done on the timing of the latest round of reopening.

Mr Varadkar was speaking on Friday on his way into a meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan at which the recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on the removal of almost all pandemic curbs were discussed.

“The Taoiseach will make an announcement at six. Certainly I think the view across Government is that if there’s no longer a public health rationale for any particular restriction well then there’s no political rationale for it either,” he said.

“But there are things that need to be worked out. To make something that’s currently illegal, legal can require a ministerial order to be rescinded, sometimes requires primary legislation to be repealed. We need to do a bit of work today on the timing.”

Nphet on Thursday night approved the return to normal opening hours for hospitality and the end of the use of the digital Covid pass for pubs and restaurants. The surprisingly positive recommendations went further than many in the Government had expected.

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January 21, 2022
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