Reports this morning suggest that pubs not serving food may not be allowed to reopen for another three months.
‘Wet pubs’ have been closed since March of this year and it is understood that it could be the same month next year before their doors open again.
The hope is that pubs could reopen for St. Patrick’s Day 2021 but it is not a certainty.
The 12-month expected closure comes after reports that restaurants and pubs serving food across Ireland are set to close from December 31.
Well-placed sources have told Dublin Live that Government leaders have decided this ahead of the formal Cabinet meeting tomorrow.
It comes amid concerns from health officials over rising case numbers.
And as a result of the spiralling case numbers it is understood that the last food and drink will be allowed to be served at pubs and restaurants up to close of business on December 30, but after that they will close their doors as we re-enter a new Level 3 lockdown.
Hotels will be allowed to continue to trade.
The Government will also agree to cut the number of households that can visit another to one from that date.
But there is going to be a reprieve on inter-county travel which will remain in place until January 6th to allow loved ones continue to meet.
Strict closing timesMeanwhile it has also emerged that partying past 11pm will be banned this Christmas.
And heading out to celebrate late into St Stephen’s night or ring in the New Year are definite non-runners – if the Government hasn’t closed all hospitality by then.
Non-compliance could see gardaí enter the premises to enforce the law.
The Department of Tourism has confirmed to Dublin Live that every eatery in the country must have their houses cleared by 11:30pm every night over the holidays.
This means that all food and drink must be served before 11pm, marking an abrupt end to a fun evening for hundreds of thousands of revellers each evening.
It will also be a further nail in the coffin for many businesses who were relying on getting extra cash in the tills this Christmas to try and salvage something from a disastrous year.
The hospitality industry had been lobbying the Government through Minister for Business, Leo Varadkar, and Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin, to actually get extra opening hours for the Christmas week.