NPHET approves easing of almost all restrictions
NPHET has approved the easing of almost all Covid-19 restrictions with Cabinet Ministers meeting later to agree a timeline.
That includes ending early closing times for hospitality, including nightclubs; removing capacity limits at live events and matches; and scrapping the need to have a Covid pass to enter a bar or restaurant.
The only measures likely to remain are mask wearing in shops and on public transport, Covid passes for travel, some special guidance for schools and the test, trace and isolate system.
Health officials also greenlit a phased return to the office for workers.
NPHET hasn’t set out a timeline for Government, leaving that for politicians to decide today.
Ministers say they have no intention of hanging about, but some legal regulations do need to be unwound.
Sources left open the idea last night that normal trading hours for hospitality could return from tomorrow, with nightclubs also opening.
If not tomorrow Monday was the other date being discussed.
However there’s a belief it will be impossible to police a curfew this weekend now the contents of the NPHET letter are public knowledge.
The Government party leaders meet this morning; the full Cabinet will discuss things in the afternoon; and Taoiseach Micheál Martin plans to address the nation at 6pm.
“Considering that NPHET advice is to lift restrictions for hospitality and to lift Covid restrictions across the state, we’re saying very clearly now from the Restaurants Association of Ireland that the government should lift the restrictions for hospitality with immediate effect so businesses can start to trade normally.”
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, Chief Executive, Padraig Cribben says he wants all restrictions on pubs lifted, including the 8pm curfew.
“We believe from the reports from NPHET last night that they have given this the green light, and given the green light for the lifting of further restrictions.
“It’s our view where we’re now in a situation where all of those restrictions around the hospitality trade, particularly the use of the bar counter, need to be lifted.