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‘We looked out for each other’: Ireland’s COVID reopening plan published

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has announced a “gradual” and “careful” easing of Covid-19 restrictions from next Monday, but also warned, “we are very unlikely to be ever able to say we are rid of this virus completely”.


Jennifer McShane
31st Aug 2021
‘We looked out for each other’: Ireland’s COVID reopening plan published

 

In a public address on Tuesday at Government Buildings,  Martin praised the public for its efforts in containing the virus, saying Irish people had shown “respect for and trust in science”.

“We kept our head as a country, we stuck together, followed the best advice, did what was asked, and looked out for each other.”

Lives have been saved as a result of the actions and sacrifice of the people, he said.

The plan, entitled Reframing the Challenge, Continuing Our Recovery and Reconnecting, will see the lifting of almost all restrictions by October 22nd.

Key dates

Here are the key reopening dates:

September 1st:

Public transport will return to full capacity.

September 6th:

There will be an easing of restrictions on organised indoor and outdoor events and mass gatherings.

From that date, theatre, music, and live events can take place for vaccinated people at 60 percent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Religious services will be allowed to proceed at up to 50 per cent capacity.

September 20th:

Restrictions on indoor and outdoor group activities will be eased. Up to 100 people can gather indoors for sports or indoor activities if all are vaccinated. If not all are vaccinated, people must stay within pods of six.

Return to work for those still working from home may also commence on a phased and staggered basis.

October 22nd:

The plan or hope is to remove the following measures on October 22nd:

– The legal requirement to prove immunity in order to access indoor hospitality or other events.
– All remaining restrictions on indoor and outdoor events and activities.
– All remaining restrictions on religious or civil ceremonies.
– The legal requirements for mask-wearing outdoors and in indoor private settings.

Even after October 22nd, there will still be a statutory requirement to wear masks in healthcare settings, indoor retail, and on public transport and all planned re-opening is subject to any new developments with the virus.

“The pandemic is not over… We will need to stick to the basics and continue to use our judgment and be stringent. I know the grief is deep… and as a country, we will find the right way to memorialise those who we have lost to this terrible virus.”