PUBS WHICH do not serve food will not open before a full vaccine roll-out can be undertaken in Ireland, a Government source has claimed.
According to the Irish Daily Mail, an unnamed Cabinet minister told the outlet that it is not safe for 'wet pubs' to reopen until Ireland has herd immunity, which will not occur until a full roll-out of a vaccine can take place.
In what will be a further blow for publicans who have been closed for the best part of a year, one scientist questioned said they did not believe Ireland would achieve herd immunity until late summer or even October.
— The Irish Daily Mail (@irishdailymail) December 2, 2020
The senior government source allegedly told The Irish Daily Mail that under the Government's current Covid-19 guidelines, 'wet pubs' cannot open until Level 2-- but "I can't see how we get to Level 2 before the roll-out of the vaccine.
"It looks like Level 3 is going to be as good as it gets before that."
Earlier this week, Professor Tomás Ryan from Trinity College's school of immunology had also warned that wet pubs may not reopen until Ireland has a widely available vaccine.
Speaking on RTÉ's This Week, Professor Ryan admitted "we may not see wet pubs reopening until there is a vaccine", and also said it was a bad idea to ease restrictions for Christmas.
The immunologist was speaking following the release of a survey carried out by Ernst & Young which noted that counties where 'wet pubs' reopened in September experienced a large increase in the 14-day incidence rate.
In Dublin however, where pubs were not permitted to reopen, the increase was not seen to the same extent.
The survey, seen by RTÉ News, also noted however that pubs reopened around the same time that sports events were allowed to take place and universities reopened.
The Government is still in talks regarding the procurement and roll-out of a coronavirus vaccine, with front-line workers and the vulnerable expected to be the first to be given the vaccine.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, which is expected to be rolled out as early as next week.