THERE'S no guarantee that all pubs in Ireland will be able to reopen this year, according to Taoiseach Micheal Martin.
Following Tuesday's announcement the country would be delaying its move into Phase Four of the reopening plan, Martin urged the public to be cautious, particularly after new Covid-19 cases more than doubled in a week.
When asked if pubs would be able to open before the end of the year, the Taoiseach said: "A lot depends upon the prevalence of the virus and how high a number we get or how low [it drops].
"If we nip this in the bud, there may be prospects, but we can't give any guarantees right now."
The date for 'wet pubs' - those that cannot serve food - to reopen again has been moved back to August 31.
Martin said that a review of the current situation would take place then, and only then, and that date is no clear indication of when precisely the move to Phase Four will be made.
Initially, Ireland was due to make the move on July 20, but this was pushed back to August 10 after a worrying increase in coronavirus cases earlier in the month.
Yesterday's announcement was the second time the date has been pushed back, and many pub owners fear that the extra delay could lead to crisis for the sector.
It's estimated that around 3,500 pubs are still unable to open around the country.