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Ireland gradually returns to normal life… Taoiseach announced key dates for lifting COVID-19 restrictions

DUBLIN: Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the Government’s reopening plan, calling it “an important step forward” after the ravages of the pandemic.

The Taoiseach said the public had “looked after each other” during the most difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is trying to rebuild the society and the economy. He also reminded that the “pandemic is not over”. He added that after October 22, face masks will be mandatory only in health care settings, public transport and shops.

Change can be seen from today!

Public transport will be operating at full capacity from today. People can sit close to each other and travel. People can sit next to each other and travel again for the first time since the pandemic began. However, the requirement to wear a mask on trains and buses will remain in place.

September 6… live events return

Live indoor events and large outdoor gatherings will be allowed from next Monday. The capacity of indoor venues will be increased to 50%. Those who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months can attend indoor programs.

Large sports stadiums can accommodate up to 75% of the people. Only those who have been fully vaccinated are allowed here. If those who are not vaccinated are allowed, the capacity should be reduced to 50%.The organizers can decide on this.

Live music will be allowed at weddings from September 6th. The 100-guest limit and the 11.30 pm closing time will remain in effect. Coach tour activity can be resumed at 50% capacity with protective measures.

September 20… Employees will return to work

The gradual return to work will begin on Monday, September 20. Employees will return in phases, possibly starting with 25% of the workforce and gradually increasing. There should be a distance of one meter between the desks in the offices.

Indoor sports and exercise classes such as yoga can also resume.

Dance classes, band practices, choirs and bridge clubs, along with community activities such as Men’s Shed meetings can also return on the same date. Indoor basketball and soccer will also be allowed.

If there are unvaccinated participants, pods of up to six people are permitted (excluding adult leaders/teachers).

Personal responsibility

Taoiseach Martin stated that the remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted by October 22nd, as the Government focuses more on guidelines and personal responsibility.

At the same time, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said that October 22 should not be viewed as “freedom day,” but rather as the start of a “new normal.” Mr Varadkar said the office staff will have a hybrid working system that can operate between home, remote centres and office.

The remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted on October 22nd, depending on a number of factors, including the vaccination of 90% of all people over the age of 16. The number of COVID patients in the hospital will also be considered for final decision making.

The government’s plan is to phase out all public health regulations and move towards guidelines and personal responsibility. People can congregate in homes and gardens without maintaining physical distance.

Restrictions on the hospitality sector and the live entertainment industry, including the requirement for digital Covid certificates, will be lifted by the end of October.

Face coverings for secondary school students will be “subject to review” after October. Meanwhile, the requirement to self-isolate when experiencing symptoms will remain in place.

Curfew in bars and restaurants after 11.30pm will not be lifted until October 22. The 11.30 closing rule and six to the table remains in place until October 22.

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