Varadkar suggests pubs could reopen BEFORE vaccine is found and dismisses idea of pint price-hike

Varadkar suggests pubs could reopen BEFORE vaccine is found and dismisses idea of pint price-hike

LEO VARADKAR has suggested that pubs in Ireland won't have to remain shut until a vaccine is found, despite Health Minister Simon Harris warning of such a possibility on Sunday.

The Taoiseach poured water on the notion that pubs will stay shut until Christmas, much to the elation of, well, the entire country I assume.

He also quelled fears of a rise in the price of pints, an idea which has been suggested in order to compensate for the lack of sales in the hospitality industry between now and when pubs are eventually allowed to reopen.

"We won't be doing that anyway," Varadkar stressed, before

"You know, it's impossible to say at this stage [when pubs will reopen]," he told reporters on Monday.

"You'll know that in some countries, Sweden for example, the pubs never closed. And while they definitely have a higher death rate per million than Ireland does, they have a lower one than other countries."

The Fine Gael leader went on to indicate that the opening date for pubs would be relative to the amount of people who have already been infected with coronavirus.

"So you know, a lot of this is going to have to be figured out as we go along, when we have some concept as to how many people have already had this infection," he said.

Varadkar later acknowledged what a "worrying time" it was for anyone working in the pub sector.

"The chances are that as we reopen the economy, as we reopen society, the things we're going to reopen last for obvious reasons are going to be mass gatherings, and places where people congregate and could pass on infection.

"And you know, that's a real difficulty for them, and I appreciate that and we'll do our best to assist them and to get started again once we can reopen.

"I hope we don't have to wait for a vaccine or an effective treatment to do that. But we just don't know the answer to this questions at this time and I wish I could give people more certainty, but I really can't."