Major blow for Tipperary pubs as Taoiseach announces Phase 4 will be deferred

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Donal O'Regan

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BREAKING: Taoiseach announces Phase 4 will be deferred

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the country will not be progressing onto Phase 4 of the roadmap on reopening Ireland.

It was revealed earlier that pubs that don't serve food have had their date for reopening pushed back from July 20 to August 10. Pubs serving food can remain open once they are fully compliant with public health advice.

In a number of new measures, face coverings should be worn by all customers while out shopping. Retail staff - unless there is a barrier between them and customers or there is a space of two metres - in shops should also wear face coverings.

The popularity of large house parties has meant social visits to people’s homes will be limited to a maximum of ten people from no more than four households.

The government continues to advise against non-essential overseas travel. There will be an increased presence of compliance staff at ports and airports.

Current restrictions of 50 people in indoor gatherings, 200 at outdoor gatherings is being extended until August 10.

The Taoiseach, who was speaking on RTE, said: "One thing has not changed, this virus has not changed, indiscriminate in its cruelty and relentless as ever in finding new hosts so it can continue to spread.

"The concern about the rise in cases in recent weeks is very real, the R (reproductive) number has risen above 1, and it is growing worldwide, today the Cabinet agreed that the current public health measures should remain in place and we will not progress to Phase 4."