NOT A SINGLE outbreak of coronavirus has been linked to hospitality venues in Ireland in over a fortnight, according to the latest figures.
Statistics released by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) demonstrate that pubs and restaurants aren't the hotbeds of Covid-19 that the Government appears to think they are.
On December 4, cafes, restaurants and gastropubs were allowed to reopen with restrictive measures following over a month of lockdown.
'Wet pubs' however were forced to remain closed, prompting criticism from pub owners, and the general public, who felt as if many businesses would struggle to stay afloat if they couldn't open for the Christmas period - typically one of the busiest periods of the year for hospitality.
The entire sector has been hit extremely hard ever since the start of the pandemic. Wet pubs in particular have only been able to open for just over a month since mid-March, and they could only do so under strict restrictive measures.
It's feared that hospitality venues can act as places where the virus can spread easily, but despite the fact that gastropubs and restaurants have been open for over 12 days now, this doesn't appear to be the case.
With just nine days left to go until Christmas, the HPSC released a statement on Wednesday urging members of the public to remain cautious and vigilant while socialising during the festive season.
"The social gatherings and events that are common at Christmas-time and over the New Year traditionally involve more close contact between people who do not meet on a day-to-day basis," the statement read.
"This may bring with it a high risk of transmission of Covid-19. There is usually more mixing of family members and friends and these relaxed gatherings are more likely to happen indoors, in less well ventilated spaces, and often involve eating and drinking in close proximity without wearing a face covering."