Taoiseach Reveals Exact Date For Lifting Of Hospitality Restrictions

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NPHET are to meet next week to discuss the possibility of easing restrictions for pubs and restaurants at the end of this month.

Possible Easing Of Restrictions

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that NPHET will meet on January 20. This meeting will see them discuss the current restrictions, including the 8pm curfew of pubs and restaurants.

This also comes after the Government agreed to sign off on measures including testing, isolation and close contacts.

These measures mean that anyone who has received the booster vaccine or has received two vaccines and recently recovered from Covid will no longer have to isolate if deemed a close contact.

Anyone who tests positive for the virus will only have to isolate for 7 days instead of 10. People aged between 4 and 39 will no longer be able to get a PCR test. They can consider a positive Antigen test as confirming that they were affected.

“some comfort” 

The Taoiseach has also said that the country’s booster programme has provided “some comfort” in managing the risks of easing the rules regarding close contacts.

He also said that the Government were making this decision due to the pressure on education, healthcare and businesses.

The Cabinet are to meet after this NPHET meeting to consider their advice, before deciding to ease any restrictions.

“In terms of the restrictions on hospitality, again those restrictions introduced before Christmas are out to the end of the month”, the Taoiseach said.

“We will consider it then. We will get advice. NPHET will meet around the 20th and we should be getting advice from NPHET in respect of those restrictions”.

The Taoiseach also said that that Ireland’s battle with the Omicron variant is showing “hopeful signs”.
He said, “We can’t be definite in terms of peaking. We go by public health expertise and those who monitor this and so on”. 
“But there are hopeful signs. We are making progress in respect of Omicron and as I said there is a combination of issues, principally the vaccine programme with the restrictions that we’ve implemented and the fact that people themselves out there have been magnificent in the way that they’ve changed their behaviour”. 
He added, “I think in terms of when the wave is going to peak, I think that is a matter for the modellers and professionals in that area to continue to monitor”.