All of the winter restrictions that may be considered if Covid cases surge during reopening

By Sophie Collins

Ireland is heading towards a long-awaited full reopening on October 22, when restrictions on indoor dining will be lifted alongside the reopening of nightclubs and much more.

As the good news keeps indicating a return to normal life, government has been warning the public that if a surge occurs amid the reopening, they cannot rule out the need for another bout of lockdown measures.

Chief Medical Officer, Tony Holohan, has said they cannot predict the trajectory of the virus and so Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed that 'severe winter restrictions' cannot be ruled out.

Details of the exact restrictions that would come in have not been confirmed however, reports are suggesting that pubs and nightclubs would be the first to close once again.

Minister Donnelly said on Tuesday that they would also reimpose restrictions on indoor hospitality if needs be - where only those that are fully-vaccinated or recently recovered from the virus would be allowed entry.

All of the winter restrictions being considered for potential Covid surge amid reopening (PA Wire/PA Images)

Other eased measures that would likely be the first to reverse are the need for physical distancing, Covid Certs, capacity at large events, in gyms and leisure centres, and potentially the return to the office.

However, new restrictions will only be brought in if there is another major surge of infection threatening to overwhelm hospitals and increase mortality.

For now, plans remain in place for the easing on Friday, October 22, when the requirement to ensure physical distance will be gone as well as the rule of wearing masks outdoors and in indoor private settings.

The limit on the number of people allowed to attend indoor and outdoor events and activities will be dropped as well as the restrictions on religious or civil ceremonies.

The number of people allowed to meet in private homes and gardens will also be unlimited as the remaining restrictions ease.

People will no longer need certification of vaccination, immunity, or testing as a condition for gaining access to any activities or events, with the exception of international travel.

While the majority of restrictions ease, the only measures that will remain in place are the need to self isolate if you develop any known symptoms associated with Covid-19, and masks must still be worn in healthcare settings, indoor retail, and on public transport.


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