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19th Oct 2021

“It’s going to be like this for a few months”: Restrictions will stay in place until February 2022

Kat O'Connor

The latest Covid-19 update for Ireland.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed Covid-19 restrictions will remain in place until February 2022.

The Government issued a new update this afternoon.

NPHET has recommended that preventative Covid measures remain in place until February.

They urged the Government to proceed with caution.

Mask wearing and social distancing will remain in place until next February.

Based on NPHET’s advice, the Government has decided to go ahead with the re-opening of the remaining aspects of the hospitality, entertainment, and night-time sectors on October 22nd.

Normal trading hours in bars and restaurants will return, but table service only.

Restrictions on weddings and church services are set to be lifted.

“The further easing of restrictions planned for 22nd October can proceed with the extension of some non-pharmaceutical interventions including the use of COVID-19 pass.”

A vaccine pass or Covid-19 recovery certificate for indoor hospitality and events will be required.

Face masks must be worn unless you’re eating or drinking.

For indoor live music, drama, live entertainment, and sporting events audience/spectators should be fully seated (standing permitted at your seat).

Specific measures will be developed for nightclubs, but the Taoiseach said dancing will be permitted.

The Government confirmed that people will need a Covid-19 pass or recovery cert to enter a nightclub.

Contact tracing, data collection, and mask-wearing will also be implemented. You will be allowed to remove your mask when eating, drinking, and dancing.

He stressed that these sectors must respect the Covid-19 measures in a bid to suppress the virus.

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He commented, “If you are indoors with other people, wear a mask. If you are running a business or any sort of event that is bringing people indoors, you must present for proof of vaccination… if you have not yet been vaccinated or had your second vaccination, please make arrangements.”

He added, “We need everyone to enforce and respect the rules.”

Everything that is open will remain open, An Taoiseach stressed.

When it comes to working from home, An Taoiseach stressed that the return to workplaces will continue on a “phased and cautious basis for specific business requirements”.

The Government will also introduce antigen testing for fully vaccinated people who are deemed close contacts of a positive Covid-19 case.

Antigen testing will now play a central role in this phase of Ireland’s re-opening.

“If you have not been vaccinated – please make arrangements to be fully vaccinated,” he added.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar warned, “We’re not past the peak of the Delta wave – we’re most likely experiencing a twin peak and cases will peak around late October to November…”

“It’s going to be like this for a few months. We’re going to have to live with Covid. It’s not going to be easy and it’s going to mean having to adjust to a new normal, at least for another few months,” he added.