Taoiseach Confirms Restrictions End Date As Masks Rule To Be Lifted

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The Government have confirmed that the requirement to wear masks in Ireland will end on February 28. This ends almost all Covid restrictions in Ireland.

This will mean that you will no longer be required to wear a mask in shops, schools, public transport or at work.

Other Covid rules set to be removed will include schools and childcare, along with social distancing, with staggared breaks and pods gone too.

However, there will be an “advisory” in place to wear masks on public transport. But there will be no direct law requiring people to wear them.

“a new transitionary phase”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has also added that “we are moving from the emergency phase of the pandemic to a new transitionary phase”.

Mr Martin had been speaking after the latest letter was sent by NPHET last Thursday. This letter calls for the wearing of face masks at schools, public transport and workplaces to be removed.

You will only be required to wear these masks at healthcare settings.

Varadkar On Masks

Despite this, Leo Varadkar feels that people will continue to wear masks even after the rules are changed.

“The positivity rate is still very high and I’m hearing of people I know every single day still testing positive with Covid”, he said. “So we need to recognise that the pandemic isn’t over”.

“However, we’re in a very different place now”, he insisted.

“We’ve built up a very high level of population immunity because of the vaccines and because of the numbers of people that have contracted the virus at this stage and also the Omicron variant is much milder, and that allows us to deal with the pandemic in a very different way, much more in the way that we would have dealt with a flu pandemic for example”.  

“I think it’s advice a lot of people will welcome, particularly in relation to schools, but that doesn’t mean that people who want to wear a mask can’t”, he added.

“I know a lot of people who maybe are experiencing mild symptoms into the future, they’ll probably still want to wear a mask to protect others”.

“That’s the culture in asian countries and I think it may become the culture here”.