Ireland lifts almost all COVID-19 restrictions

The early reopening means that limits such as the 8 pm curfew for restaurants and pubs and limits on the attendance of indoor and outdoor events are no longer in place. [EPA-EFE/AIDAN CRAWLEY]

Ireland has removed almost all pandemic restrictions following advice from public health officials on Friday (21 January).

Most of the existing COVID-19 restrictions were lifted from Saturday at 6 am, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced in a press conference Friday evening, adding that the “emergency is over”.

Several limits had been reintroduced in recent months following a surge in cases of the Omicron variant and were due to last until at least the end of the month.

The early reopening means that limits such as the 8 pm curfew for restaurants and pubs and limits on the attendance of indoor and outdoor events are no longer in place. The requirement for proof of vaccination in the hospitality sector has also been scrapped, and a phased return to in-person working is set to begin from Monday.

Certain measures remain in place, with the next review due at the end of February. Masks must still be worn in shops and on public transport, and isolation rules for those who have come in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, show symptoms or have caught the virus remain in place.

Existing pandemic economic supports, such as the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, which helps business owners to pay their workers’ wages, will also be wound down, it was announced.

The pandemic is not yet over, officials have warned. Martin, for his part, has noted that the reintroduction of restrictions may be necessary if new variants emerge or the situation worsens.

(Molly Killeen | EURACTIV.com)

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe