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An Garda Síochána has announced that it will be conducting "nationwide checks" of pubs and licensed premises, amid fears that safety guidelines are not being adhered to.
Gardaí had originally planned to carry out spot checks, but after reports that some businesses are not adhering to the rules, a more comprehensive operation will be launched.
Many pubs reopened on 29 June, under the caveat that they must serve a substantial meal to anyone drinking alcohol, social distancing of at least one metre is in place, and groups remain on the premises for two hours or less.
The Gardaí say that there is concern from "Garda management, the public and industry representative bodies" that some licensed premises and their customers have not been adhering to these public health guidelines since the reopening of licensed premises.
An Garda Síochána has today given an operational order to all local Garda managers that licensed premises in their area operating at the moment are to be checked for adherence to The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (No.3) Regulations 2020. The operation has been named Operation Navigation.
Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said: "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.
"Our intention in this latest phase was to conduct a large number of spot-checks of licensed premises. However, it now appears that just a few days after their introduction some licensed premises and their customers are ignoring the public health guidelines.
"By doing so, they are putting themselves and everyone they then come into contact with at risk of getting COVID-19. This is not acceptable and we are now expanding our planned checks."
The checks began at 7pm this evening (Friday 3 July).