Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that indoor dining will not reopen next week as planned.
He said he was advised by health experts in “stark terms” that proceeding with reopening next Monday will lead to a great increase in the spread of the virus, increase hospital admissions and illness and death.
Mr Martin said that the safest way to proceed with a return to hospitality is to limit access to those who have been fully vaccinated and those who have recovered from Covid-19.
“Over the course of the coming weeks, Government will work urgently with the relevant sectors to agree a practical and workable approach,” he added.
we are in a race between the variant and vaccines
“The simple truth is that we are in a race between the variant and vaccines, and we want to do everything we possibly can to make sure that the vaccine wins.”
It is now expected the Government will develop a system to allow people to prove they have been vaccinated.
The plans were discussed at Cabinet on Tuesday morning after the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) recommended that such a regime must be put in place if the reopening is to proceed.
The Cabinet did agree that other planned measures will go ahead on Monday, July 5th. This would see the number of people allowed at weddings rise to 50. Attendances at sports grounds will also increase to 200 or up to 500 at venues with a capacity of 5,000.