MICHEAL MARTIN announced on Tuesday that pubs in Ireland would not be reopening on August 10 as originally planned.
Instead, the date has pushed back another three weeks to August 31 in a crushing blow to Ireland's hospitality sector.
Speaking at a press briefing yesterday evening, the Taoiseach stressed that the decision had been made on the advice of the country's health experts.
"The government has made a number of decisions today based on the advice of NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team)," Martin said.
"Firstly, I know that this will come as a bitter disappointment to many people, the Cabinet has agreed to continue with the current public health measures that are in place.
"Therefore pubs, bars, hotel bars, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed.
"Also, the current restrictions on numbers attending indoor and outdoor gatherings will remain unchanged.
"We have to heed our chief medical officer and NPHET's advice, and we have to keep the pressure on this virus."
Martin also announced that pubs and restaurants that have already opened will be forced to close at 11pm every night without exception.
The Taoiseach insisted however that this was not a curfew order.
Pubs in Ireland were forced to shut in mid-March at the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
Those who were able to offer customers a substantial meal of €9 or above were allowed to reopen in late June, but the remaining 60% of pubs across Ireland have been waiting for Ireland to begin Phase Four of the reopening plan.
This was initially scheduled for July 20 but was pushed back to August 10 following a rise in coronavirus cases.
Now, the move to Phase Four has been delayed for the second time.