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17th Jan 2022

NPHET to consider lifting restrictions on hospitality as early as this week

Fiona Frawley

Shot oftemple bar, Dublin at night time, looking relatively empty due to restrictions

This Monday just got a bit less bluer.

As the latest wave of Covid cases has appeared to reach its peak, NPHET is set to meet this week to discuss easing current restrictions on hospitality, as well as working from home.

According to our friends at JOE, the Government is set to ask Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan if the 8pm curfew can be lifted for bars and restaurants next month. It is hoped that closing time can return to 11pm at the earliest.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin appeared on the Late Late Show last Friday, and when asked if pubs and restaurants would be allowed to open past 8pm in February he replied “I would hope so”.

He also said that he is optimistic about the future as the Omicron strain is beginning to stabilise in Ireland.

To be straight with you, it is stabilising here, the progress is clear to be seen now, the hospital levels are certainly stabilising and how seriously ill people are is certainly down on previous waves.

…Hospitalisations are stable, Omicron has not penetrated ICU to the degree that people feared, quite a lot of the ICU numbers are still Delta patients.

…Cases are coming down, albeit from a very high level, but they are coming down.

The current restrictions, which Martin has acknowledged are “very severe”, are set to remain in place until 30th of January.

NPHET are due to meet this Thursday, and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that hospitality and other businesses affected by current guidelines will be informed of any changes to restrictions well in advance.

Header image via Shutterstock

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