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Covid-19: bars and clubs to close from Tuesday

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David Burt, the Premier (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The Premier tonight announced that bars and clubs will be closed from next Tuesday and remain shuttered until December 22 at the earliest.

David Burt said that the move was made after a spike in coronavirus cases and fears that mass infections could overwhelm the healthcare system.

But Mr Burt added that outdoor bars would be able to operate, although indoor food service with alcohol will be permitted, but group numbers at tables would also be reduced.

The number of people allowed to gather together will be cut to 20 people unless a special exemption was granted.

He said: “Our goal in implementing these restrictions is to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

“Our goal is to protect our healthcare system and these steps are necessary to do such.”

Mr Burt said one of the triggers for increased restrictions was 35 new coronavirus cases in a week – which had been passed.

He added: “Our hospital is in decent shape with only two persons in hospital, only one in critical care”.

But he highlighted that the country must avoid being “in a dangerous place as we go forward”.

Mr Burt said he was aware of the economic impact of the measures and that the Minister of Finance would “make funds available to affected businesses” and that employees of the businesses would be eligible for supplementary benefits.

He added: “I do recognise there are economic consequences for businesses and recognise the economic consequences for individuals”.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said that supplies of vaccinations against the coronavirus could be available as early as next week.

She added the “best case scenario” for a shipment organised by Public Health England was mid-month.

Ms Wilson said the UK-supplied vaccines would be sent from the United States rather than the United Kingdom for the sake of speed.

But she added vaccines would also be sourced from the Covax centre.

Ms Wilson said: “We are looking at two parallel options and we’re anticipating we have the vaccine as early as December.”

She added that healthcare workers and the most vulnerable, including rest home residents would be given priority.

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Published December 06, 2020 at 8:37 pm (Updated December 07, 2020 at 1:50 pm)

Covid-19: bars and clubs to close from Tuesday

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