Midnight closing time reintroduced for pubs, restaurants and nightclubs
A major u-turn.
The Government is set to reintroduce a closing time of midnight for the hospitality sector, less than one month after permitting the industry to remain open beyond 11.30pm.
The news arrives shortly after Taoiseach Micheál Martin noted that the current Covid-19 situation in Ireland is "getting worse and will get worse before it gets better".
A detailed Government announcement is expected later on Tuesday but for now, news has filtered through regarding the aforementioned fresh restrictions for hospitality.
RTÉ News reports that Cabinet has agreed that midnight will now be the designated closing time for pubs, restaurants and nightclubs, with the new measures coming into effect from midnight this Thursday, 18 November.
Both the nature and timing of the manoeuvre represents another considerable blow to the country's nightlife sector, following on from mass confusion and criticism in recent weeks.
"Case numbers are very high, and the numbers then that will inevitably end up in hospital increases with that," said Taoiseach Martin on Tuesday morning.
"So we've got to make decisions today, but also I think collectively as a society, we've got to look out for each other, and just be very aware that the situation is getting worse and will get worse before it gets better."
On Monday evening, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly highlighted new modelling that indicates some extremely difficult weeks ahead for the Irish healthcare system.