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Ireland’s restrictions: What has been delayed following yesterday’s announcement


By Sarah Finnan
30th Jun 2021
Ireland’s restrictions: What has been delayed following yesterday’s announcement

While certain restrictions will be eased as planned from July 5, others will not… so, what exactly will change come next month?

Government has decided to delay the return of indoor dining until July 19 at the earliest, telling the public that the next phase of reopening will be based on “a cautious approach with an emphasis on lower-risk activities”. 

New measures pertaining to indoor dining were due to be introduced at the start of July, however, cabinet has since decided to push that date out until much later in the month. Citing concerns over losing progress, the decision comes after NPHET advised officials to delay the next stage of reopening.

Indoor dining

Already back open for takeaway and outdoor dining, indoor dining was to be reintroduced in pubs and restaurants across Ireland from next month. Unfortunately, such is not the case and government has decided to delay the full reopening of the hospitality sector by at least a further two weeks. Hoping to avoid a repeat cycle of opening and closing businesses, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that a return to indoor dining would pose too great a risk at the moment. 

“The feedback across the entire country over the course of the last year has been consistent, the process of reopening and closing different sectors has had a terrible impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing and has a potentially devastating impact on the sectors impacted. We want to avoid a repeat of that cycle,” he said yesterday. 

Working to implement a system to verify vaccination or immunity, Martin continued by saying, “NPHET’s clear advice, based on the modeling it has done, is that given the transmissibility of the Delta variant the safest way to now proceed with indoor dining is to limit access to those who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid.”

Commenting that it’s very much “a race between the variant and vaccine”, he confirmed that goverrnment is working “urgently” with the relevant sectors to come up with “a practical and workable approach”. 

One of the hardest-hit industries, the news has not gone down well with the large majority of restaurateurs and publicans who have expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the way the situation has been handled. 

Outdoor events

Outdoor events will be allowed to go ahead as planned from July 5 with numbers also increasing to 200 or 500 for stadia/venues with a capacity of over 5,000 guests. 

Weddings/funerals

Weddings already planned for next month will be permitted to proceed as expected. Up to 50 guests will be allowed to attend with protective measures in place. For funerals, the number of mourners continues to be capped at 50 people – regardless of venue size. Attendance at wakes in private homes and at funeral homes is for family only while related family gatherings should strictly adhere to prevailing public health advice on household mixing, including visitors to your home and indoor and outdoor dining.

Household visits

There will be no limit on the number of people who can visit together provided that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 in the past nine months. 

International travel 

Current government advice remains to avoid non-essential international travel, however, restrictions are expected to ease from July 19 (subject to the prevailing public health situation at the time). It’s expected that the EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) will be in operation in the country by that time which will enable travellers to prove that they have either been vaccinated, have received a negative test result, or have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months. 

Government officials will meet again on July 19 when a decision regarding indoor dining will be revisited.