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01st Sep 2021

The roadmap for reopening the rest of the country has been announced

Fiona Frawley

We should see most Covid restrictions completely eased by 22nd October.

In an address to the nation yesterday Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that any sectors still closed as a result of Covid 19 can “now begin to hope again“.

Martin said that current restrictions would be gradually and carefully eased throughout September, with a “significant change of approach” in October.

The Taoiseach commended the Irish people for our efforts over the past eighteen months, and the large uptake of the vaccine, saying  “It is the Irish peoples respect for and trust in science that has made it such a powerful tool in our country”.

Martin confirmed that as of yesterday morning “close to 90% of all citizens over the age of 18 have been vaccinated… and the rate of uptake in our citizens under the age of 18 is hugely encouraging also”.

He followed this by saying “The time is now right to begin the move from regulation and widespread restrictions on people’s personal freedom to an approach primarily defined by public health advice, personal behaviour, judgement and responsibility”.

However, the Taoiseach did warn that if a new dangerous variant emerges, or our hospitals come under “unsustainable pressure”, the government will “move quickly to respond to the situation”. He stressed the efficacy of our vaccinations in preventing serious illness, ICU admissions and death.

The remaining restrictions are set to be gradually pulled back throughout September, starting with an easing restrictions of outdoor and mass gatherings from the 6th.

  • From that day, theatre, music and live events can take place indoors for fully vaccinated people at 60% capacity, and 75% outdoors.
  • Religious services can take place at up to 50% capacity.
  • From the 20th of September, restrictions on indoor and outdoor group activities will be eased.
  • Return to work for those still working from home will commence on a staggered basis from the 20th of September.

All going according to plan, on the 22nd of October, Martin says the Government “hope to be in a position” to ease the following restrictions:

  • The legal requirement to prove immunity to access indoor hospitality and events
  • All remaining restrictions on indoor and outdoor events and activities
  • All restrictions on religious ceremonies and services
  • The legal requirement for mask wearing outdoors and in indoor private settings

Measures that will remain in place include the wearing of masks in healthcare settings, indoor retail and on public transport, and self-isolation when symptoms arise.

The Taoiseach finished by saying:

We will rebuild our economy and renew our society. We will do these and all the other things with renewed energy and determination, with personal freedoms restored and our country hope emerging from this most extraordinary period in our history. 

Header image via Shutterstock