Will Ireland's Covid restrictions ease soon? Irish pub closing time update from Taoiseach

By Ciara Phelan & Sandra Mallon

Cabinet are set to meet on Wednesday with close contact rules top of the agenda amid the Omicron surge.

Current advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control allows for shorter isolation periods when there is significant pressure on society and healthcare in particular.

Government are to receive public health advice on the matter before making a decision Wednesday.

No other restrictions are expected to be eased at this early stage, nor is the Taoiseach expecting any to be reinstated amid daily case numbers of 20,000.

Mr Martin said he is confident that the country can get through the Omicron wave without any further restrictions.

He said: “I am at this stage and that said we want to give it another week or two.

“We haven’t peaked yet and Covid has had many twists and turns but I am confident if we maintain the same focus we can get through this wave.”

Mr Martin also said Dr Holohan told him that the peak of the Omicron wave may be another two weeks away.

He said: “Over 1,000 in hospital, thankfully the conversion in ICU is not at the same level so far as it would have been last year or in different waves.

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“We do need a bit more time to wait to see to be sure and certain of that.

“We’re still not at the peak of this wave, it is still on an upward trajectory but so far I think the country is managing this.

“We need to keep at this and I would urge people in that context then to get the booster vaccine.”

Pubs call for end of 8pm closing time

Hospitality bosses claim current measures in place, including that all restaurants, bars and cafes must close at 8pm and enforce strict social distancing, should be reviewed immediately.

Speaking to the Irish Daily Star, Mr Cummins said: “ We're looking for the curfew to be lifted. We need to see the scientific evidence around the 8pm restrictions.

“Outdoor dining and outdoor hospitality need to be reactivated immediately. A lot of businesses put huge amounts of money into that so that they could do outdoor dining.

“We need the resumption of normal trading hours. We need to see the evidence which was why the restrictions were brought in.

“The Taoiseach ruled it out for this week but that doesn't mean it couldn't lift the week after.

“Restaurants are still struggling after the Christmas period.”

Follow our Covid live blog here for all the very latest on the situation.


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