IRELAND'S 'wet pubs' won't be allowed to open for Christmas this year, sources indicate.
They are reportedly being sacrificed in order to allow restaurants to open.
According to the Irish Mirror, pubs that cannot serve food have "no hope" of opening for the festive season.
Ireland is set to move to Level Three restrictions once lockdown ends on December 1, and there's a slim hope that a further drop to Level Two might be possible before Christmas.
Until then, Ireland's hospitality industry, which has been shackled for nine months by the Covid-19 pandemic, will be able to open on an outdoor dining, takeaway and delivery basis, as per Level Three guidelines.
But the Government is reportedly considering allowing the sector to open up even further before Christmas, to give the industry a much-needed boost.
According to sources, restaurants will be allowed to open as normal from next week so long as daily Covid cases drop below 300.
In order to ensure this, 'wet pubs' are on the Christmas chopping block, and will likely have to remain shut.
Gastropubs will be given the green-light to open up, but there will likely be a rule in place to ensure customers are buying food, akin to the "substantial meal" rule during the summer which only allowed pubs to open if they could serve customers a meal worth €9 or over.
The Cabinet, as well as representatives from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) are due to meet on Tuesday to finalise details of the country's move to Level Three, but hope is quickly fading for the already-ravaged pub industry in Ireland.