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Down the drain Takeaway pints to be banned in latest Covid-19 crackdown on outdoor drinkers

A senior health sources confirmed Minister Donnelly is planning to introduce the ban on takeaway pints shortly. The minister may need Cabinet approval before he signs the regulation.

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Punters get some last-minute pints in on Dublin’s Exchequer Street yesterday

Punters get some last-minute pints in on Dublin’s Exchequer Street yesterday

Punters get some last-minute pints in on Dublin’s Exchequer Street yesterday

Takeaway pints are to be banned by the Government as part of a new crackdown on people gathering outdoors to drink.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly will sign a health regulation in the coming days which will prohibit the sale of takeaway alcohol from pubs and restaurants.

A senior health sources confirmed Minister Donnelly is planning to introduce the ban on takeaway pints shortly. The minister may need Cabinet approval before he signs the regulation.

The move follows concerns expressed on social media about people congregating in Dublin City Centre drinking over the weekend. People were also reportedly gathering in Cork City drinking takeaway pints in recent weeks.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin earlier told Cork radio station Red FM he was considering a ban on takeaway pints.

"What we have been seeing could put this progress in jeopardy. It puts frontline workers in our hospitals under pressure, it puts our ICU beds under pressure,” Mr Martin said.

"Widespread congregation of people on our streets facilitates the spreading of the virus, we are going to have to review, in particular, the whole take-away pints phenomenon, we are going to review that and see what we can do.

"We are going to look at that very seriously. It will happen over the next two days, I will be seeking reports from the Gardai and consulting with the Minister for Justice today,” he added.

The move comes two weeks before the second national lockdown is due to end. It is unclear if wet pubs will be allowed to open once the lockdown ends but Government sources predict it is unlikely.

Restaurants and pubs that serve food may be allowed to reopen but it is still being considered whether they can serve customers indoors.

The Government is planning to move the country into Level 3 restrictions on December 1 and then ease regulations further closer to Christmas to allow people visit family and travel between counties.

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