Indoor dining in pubs and restaurants has been further delayed.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin confirmed in an address at lunchtime that indoor drinking and dining - which was scheduled to reopen next Monday - is being further delayed, with no new date given, however it's expected 19th July would be the earliest possible date.

When indoor dining does resume, it will only be for people who are fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.

He said concerns are growing over the spread of the Delta variant of the virus and NPHET gave a stark warning to Government last night about the real risk of spreading the virus if reopening continued as planned on 5th July.

The Taoiseach acknowledged that news of a further delay will be met with dismay and frustration by those involved in tourism and hospitality, and said additional supports will be provided in the coming weeks.

He again said the Government is determined that, when a sector reopens, they want to ensure it stays open.

On a positive note, the number than can attend a wedding reception will increase to 50, as planned.

Mr Martin also said tremendous progress is being made in rolling out the vaccination programme, with some 4 million doses already administered, and each week, hundreds of thousands of vaccines are administered.

While they're not impenetrable, he said the vaccines are "a massive defence against Covid".

The Taoiseach said the road through this crisis has been "one of twists and turns, and today's adjustment is another twist, but we are emerging from the pandemic".







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