Coronavirus | Ireland closes pub amid rise in COVID - 19 cases

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Coronavirus | Ireland closes pub amid rise in COVID - 19 cases

A closed pub called Reilly's is said to be closed by Government restrictions around coronavirus, amid the coronavirus disease COVID - 19 pandemic in Dublin, Ireland, September 3, 2020. REUTERS Clodagh Kilcoyne Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN, Oct 14 Reuters - Ireland raised doubts over its plans to remove almost all COVID - 19 restrictions next week due to a rise in cases, with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe saying a full return of office workers was now unlikely.

Ireland has one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe with 92% of adults fully protected but also one of the highest infection rates in Europe, with about 400 cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days.

With hospitalisations ticking up, even though it is still much above peaks this year and last, ministers will discuss the issue at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday whether this will push up critical care needs ahead of the busy winter period.

After one of Europe's toughest lockdowns, the government had planned to let nightclubs open for the first time in 20 months from October 22, with other venues at full capacity, and a requirement for vaccine certificates in bars and restaurants dropped. It is possible that some of the limitations which are due to be lifted may not be, of course that is possible. We expected figures would increase, the question is whether they are expanding to a level that means we have to reevaluate, Minister Simon Coveney told the Newstalk radio station.

However, he said the government would be reluctant to get away from the reopening plan.

Asked whether there would be a gradual return of workers next week after last month's major reopening of offices, Donohoe said that was a little less likely Sectors likely to be affected reacted with dismay.

We have a full lineup of events, we started working on this six weeks ago, we’ve hired all our staff back We're just devastated, Ian Redmond, owner of Dublin Tramline nightclub, told national broadcaster RTE.

Tell us we can open, or I can't? It is absurd to leave it until the very last minute.