Bar lockout in Dublin is said to affect thousands of people

The Irish government is imposing a pub lockout across Dublin in an effort to curb an increase in the number of children contracting whooping cough in the country. It is unclear whether there is a causal link between the strict enforcement of the laws and an increase in cases of the highly contagious disease, but anecdotal evidence suggests a pattern emerging as in England, where the health authorities have mandated that pubs remain open on Sunday. In recent months, the country has had its highest number of measles cases in three decades. According to a recently published report by the Irish Independent, Irish citizens have received 59 percent of the vaccination they need to protect against the disease, which requires up to four doses of vaccine, as of November. The Irish authorities have nevertheless decided to clamp down on bars and nightclubs where the children are meeting.

The legislation, reported by the BBC, says that pubs and clubs cannot stay open after 9 p.m. and must close by 1 a.m. People are legally entitled to consume alcohol until 1:30 a.m. in Dublin. The new law is affecting businesses nationwide, including bars and breweries, and bans venues from serving children younger than 18 years old. An estimated 400,000 people drink in public bars in Dublin. Many pubs are keeping a low profile. Noel Holohan, the head of a Taverners Pub, told the BBC, “We’re a busy pub so we’re obviously not in for letting all the parents know that they’re barred from coming.” In Scotland, there have been numerous cases of whooping cough among infants, and the health department has ruled that pubs have to stay open past 11 p.m. in their locations, on Sundays, and as long as parents are in attendance.

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.

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