The Tánaiste has played down suggestions from Deputy Michael Lowry that all pubs should be allowed to reopen for Christmas.
Speaking in the Dáil the Tipperary TD said people will celebrate over the festive season whether pubs are open are not – he claimed that having them gather in the controlled environs of a pub would be preferable to house parties taking place.
In reply Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he understood the argument that people were less likely to interact in a pub than at a house party or home gathering.
However he did issue a note of caution.
“I think we do need to bear in mind that just because people can gather in a pub doesn’t mean that an equal number of home gatherings won’t happen. In fact it’s very possible that people have spent a few hours or a night in the pub will then retire to somebody’s house and then have a house party there.”
“So I don’t think this idea this idea that if you open the pubs there will be fewer house parties is necessarily true – you might actually end up with the same number or even more and therefore increase risk.”