Leo Varadkar drops biggest hint yet that all pubs WILL reopen on Monday
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Leo Varadkar drops biggest hint yet that all pubs WILL reopen on Monday

LEO VARADKAR has indicated that all pubs will be given the green light to reopen on Monday as initially scheduled.

There have been a number of warnings from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) that if Covid-19 case numbers rose significantly enough, moving to Phase Four of the government's lockdown exit strategy would be put on hold.

Ireland is set to enter Phase Four on Monday, which will see all remaining pubs across the country open up again, provided they are set up to adhere to social distancing and public health guidelines.

"I do hope it will be possible for them to reopen," said Tanaiste Varadkar.

"I know there has been an uptick in the number of Covid cases in the last week or two but it is still in the teens or about 20 per day."

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Earlier this week, acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned that it was "too early" to make a decision on whether or not to go ahead with Monday's planned move into Phase Four.

"We've a full week to go. We are monitoring the situation," he said.

"We are concerned about increasing cases over the last five days.

"We are looking at the increase in cases, the profile of cases, where they are coming from, the reproductive number appears to be increasing, the five-day average for new cases is increasing."

The NPHET met on Tuesday to discuss the reopening plan and raised concerns about the rising number of cases in young people.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin expressed concern this morning that a significant rise in the number of house parties around the country posed a serious risk to further spread of the virus.

An official decision on whether or not to go ahead with Phase Four on July 20 will likely be made on Thursday or Friday.

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