A Cabinet meeting has been underway since about 4.30 to decide whether or not to move to the next phase of the roadmap for reopening the country from next Monday.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has given a strong indication that the reopening of pubs will once again be postponed.

Speaking before the Cabinet meeting got underway, Mr Varadkar highlighted the recent spike in new Covid-19 cases in Ireland and across Europe and said the Government’s priority is reopening schools and colleges.

The Tanaiste said the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) recommended a cautious approach in the coming weeks.

Mr Varadker said this will be come as a “further blow to some sectors that have not been reopened but added that “we can’t risk going backwards or risk the schools reopening”.

However, there is growing anger among publicans who have been forced to keep their pubs closed for almost five months while other sectors of society have reopened.

Mayo publican Marie Mellett, of Mellett's Emporium in Swinford, says pubs should open from next week, regardless of whether they serve food or not:

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