Gardaí will start to check pubs from this evening to make sure they are complying with Covid-19 guidelines.
It follows concern that some licensed premises and their customers have not been sticking to the rules since the re-opening of licensed premises on Monday of this week.
Only pubs that serve food can be open and people must buy a hot meal worth €9, social distancing must be observed and customers may not stay for longer than 105 minutes.
The operation – Operation Navigation – will commence from 7pm this evening.
Today, an operational order was given to all local Garda managers that any licensed premises in their area who are currently operating are to be checked to see if they are adhering to the regulations.
Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said that ignoring of public health guidelines is not acceptable and as a result of the reports that there are premises not complying with regulations gardaí are now expanding their planned checks.
“When licenced premises were initially shut under the public health guidelines An Garda Síochána checked thousands of licensed premises to ensure they remained closed, which the vast, vast majority did,” Deputy Commissioner Twomey said this evening.
“Our intention in this latest phase was to conduct a large number of spot-checks of licensed premises.
“By doing so, they are putting themselves and everyone they then come into contact with at risk of getting Covid-19.”
At the first meeting of the new Government’s Cabinet Committee on Ireland’s Covid-19 response earlier today, concerns were expressed about whether pubs operating as restaurants are operating in accordance with the public health guidelines.
It will review a report on compliance from the relevant state authorities, including An Garda Síochána, the public health, and health and safety authorities at a meeting on Monday.
The committee heard that strong enforcement measures will be taken against premises that are not operating in accordance with guidlelines.
Social distancing and other such public health guidelines are not penal provisions.
Where a potential breach is found and where a person does not come into compliance with the regulations, a file is submitted to the DPP.