Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said public health advice shows if pubs reopened now, it could “materially add to the possibility of a second wave” of the coronavirus.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Donnelly said the Government is prioritising the reopening of schools and healthcare facilities in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Donnelly said the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is very concerned given the ‘R’ number is now between 1.2 and 1.8.
The minister said if it is 1.8, then within three weeks we could see be up to 160 cases of Covid-19 per day.
The reproductive rate, or ‘R number’, indicates the number of people on average that an infected person will pass the virus on to.
He said delaying the reopening of pubs from next week to next month was not an easy decision to make.
“We are essentially prioritising schools, healthcare facilities, the economy over the accelerated opening of the pubs,” Mr Donnelly said.
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