Covid-19 restrictions to begin lifting from 6am Saturday – Taoiseach addresses nation

The Irish government is set to begin the process of lifting Covid-19 restrictions at 6am on Saturday, 22nd of January, as per the recommendation of NPHET.

Current medical advice pertaining to restricted movement, close contacts, and Covid symptoms are set to remain in place. However, most other guidelines and restrictions currently set in place by the government will be lifted.

Household visits will be subject to no restrictions, while all indoor and outdoor events will return to full capacity. Additionally, the 8pm closing time for pubs, nightclubs, and restaurants will be lifted.

Social distancing measures will also be removed, alongside the need for a Covid pass to access any businesses. Customer-facing businesses will also no longer need to take record of customer contact details, and seating requirements for indoor business will be removed.

Masks will still be required for public transportation, retail spaces, and schools until February 28th, as will the Covid pass for international travel.

Speaking in a live address to the nation this evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “I can’t promise you that there won’t be further twists in this pandemic”.

The government has come under fire throughout the pandemic due to a continued lack of capacity in ICUs across the country. In his address, the Taoiseach affirmed government intention to ensure the health service is prepared for future Covid surges, saying: “We will continue our investment in our public health service. We will ensure that we our ready for any future surges.”

The Taoiseach also announced an extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and committed to collaboration with policymakers across Europe to help distribute vaccines across the developing world.

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