A PROPOSAL to extend curfew for pubs in Ireland from 11pm to midnight is reportedly being considered by Tanaiste Leo Varadkar.
Under current guidelines, pubs and restaurants across the country have been forced to shut their doors to customers at 11pm at the very latest - in line with one of a number of public health guidelines allowing them to stay open amid the Covid-19 crisis.
However, sources at the Irish Mirror claim that an hour extension on the curfew is being considered by the government, after it was proposed to Mr Varadkar by representatives from the hospitality industry during a meeting on Wednesday.
Pubs in Ireland are worried for their futures after extensive closures and a number of delays to potential reopening dates.
Representatives feels that allowing pubs to stay open for an extra hour would go a long way in helping them out, as the industry remains on its knees.
Currently, pubs that can serve a substantial meal of €9 or over are allowed to open. Any so-called 'wet pubs' have had to remain closed.
Many in the industry feel that pubs have been treated as scapegoats during the Covid-19 crisis, and have been undeservedly blamed for recent spikes of the virus.
All pubs were to open on July 20, as the country was due to enter Phase Four of the reopening plan. But this date was pushed back to August 10, and then later pushed back again to August 31.
Wet pub owners are now resigning themselves to the idea that the date may well be delayed again, particularly if there are further spikes of coronavirus once schools reopen towards the end of the month, something Varadkar himself has described as "inevitable".