- Pubs, restaurants and nightclubs will have a new closing time from Thursday.
- Stricter rules around mask wearing for indoor and outdoor settings.
- There may be more restrictions put in place in the coming weeks.
Ireland: Pubs, nightclubs and restaurants will be imposed a new closing time from Thursday in the Republic of Ireland, with people urged to work from home as early as Friday where possible. The new closing time is part of the reintroduction of new Covid measures, 4 weeks after Cabinet lifted an 11:30 PM closing order. Covid passes will also be required by law in cinemas and theatres. Addressing the country on Tuesday after the changes were agreed by Cabinet, Prime Minister Micheál Martin said: “Requiring Covid passes is a proportionate and effective public health measure and these rules must be followed.” He added: “It is only our collective effort-full adherence to the rules that remain in place, making sure we are vaccinated and taking our booster when it becomes available, working from home if we’re able to, wearing our masks, keeping our distance and being aware of our environment – that will keep our society and economy open; that will sustain and maintain our progress; that will keep us healthy and safe.”
Among the new measures that are set to be announced, expanded guidance on wearing face masks is also expected. The Restaurants Association of Ireland is calling on the Government to trigger the Reactivation of the Covid Recovery Support Scheme for Hospitality that will be impacted by the new measures. Mr Martin added that there is an obligation on everyone to reduce social interactions to tackle transmissions of the virus and that the “overall objective is to prevent people getting very sick, going into hospitals, ICUs.
There may be more restrictions put in place in the coming weeks, sources warned. Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association, said: “Effectively, this latest announcement means that the current Government strategy isn’t working. “We were told that if we waited until the majority of the public was vaccinated we would be able to get back to trading. Well, we waited and that wasn’t enough. “Like the rest of the country, of course, we are conscious of the worsening health situation. But this will still be really hard news for those working in the sector to take.” In Northern Ireland, which has also seen a rise in Covid cases, the Executive is currently considering the imposition of mandatory Covid passports.