OFF LICENSE hours could be significantly reduced in an attempt to stamp out house parties.
The measure was discussed in a Cabinet meeting earlier this week, where the Government agreed to reject NPHET advice and move the country to Level 3 restrictions rather than the recommended Level 5.
According to The Irish Independent, the potential for shortened off-license hours was suggested as a way to stamp out house parties and street parties, thereby slowing the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Three ministers made the suggestion, including Minister Hildegarde Naughton from Galway: her city recently made headlines as throngs as students spilled onto the streets and Spanish Arch for a huge party as pubs closed early under coronavirus restrictions.
The proposal was first made by Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys and supported by Justice Minister Helen McEntee.
It was also suggested that by cutting off-license hours, people may be more likely to go to restaurants and pubs for a drink, thereby helping the economy-- however, under the nationwide Level 3 restrictions, pubs and restaurants can only serve customers outdoors.
According to The Irish Independent, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris suggested yesterday that officers may show up to premises where a house party is taking place, stating a Garda presence outside the home during a party will "really dampen the mood".
All 26 counties in the Republic have come under Level 3 restrictions from today-- to learn about what these restrictions mean you can read our explainer here.