Almost all Covid-19 restrictions will end on October 22nd with move towards personal responsibility
From next Monday, larger crowds can attend the likes of religious ceremonies and concerts, while communions and confirmations will also return.
Workers will start going back to offices from September 20th, while indoor and outdoor group activities will also be allowed again.
All remaining restrictions aside from mask-wearing in certain settings will be lifted on October 22nd:
Taoiseach Micheál Martin says Ireland is now entering “a whole new phase” in the pandemic:
“We are very unlikely to ever be able to be rid of this virus completely. Indeed, we expect to see an increase in case numbers over the coming weeks. But the combined strategy of careful reopening and energetic vaccination has brought us to a point where we can begin to do things differently.”
As public transport services return to full capacity tomorrow, the National Transport Authority says the safety of customers remains its top priority.
Seats will no longer be blocked off on transport services, but face coverings remain mandatory.
Transport operators will continue daily cleaning regimes on their fleet, and hand sanitiser is available on-board buses and at stations.
Windows should be left open on-board where available to improve ventilation, and Leap Cards and other cashless payments should be used where possible.
The Arts Minister says in preparation for the re-opening of the nightclub sector on October 22nd, a pilot event will take place in September.
Catherine Martin says indoor arts venues can operate at 60% capacity for vaccinated people from September 6th while outdoor venues can host 75% capacity, and indoor music is permitted.
Choir, music, drama and dance classes can resume from September 20th.
From October 22nd, all remaining events and activities can return, including the re-opening of nightclubs.
Meanwhile, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan is calling for employers to be responsible about their staff going back to offices:
The employers, unions and workers are going have to work together… it’s not going to be instantaneous, but that will be a local decision, that will be something where people work in teams, in their own employment, in their own office to make that work well. [It] will be facilitated by the return of public transports tomorrow, one clear message we need to get out though- still wear your mask and public transport.”