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Indoor hospitality reopening delayed amid Delta variant concerns

The decision was based on National Public Health Emergency Team advice.

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A number of restrictions were due to be lifted next Monday, including indoor dining (Damien Storan/PA)

A number of restrictions were due to be lifted next Monday, including indoor dining (Damien Storan/PA)

A number of restrictions were due to be lifted next Monday, including indoor dining (Damien Storan/PA)

The Government has confirmed that drinking and eating inside bars and restaurants will be delayed for several weeks.

A number of restrictions were due to be lifted next Monday, including indoor dining.

The decision follows advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), who said the incidence of the Delta variant in Ireland posed a “significant risk”, particularly to those who were not fully vaccinated, and was rapidly increasing.

The Government said it would follow a “cautious approach”, with an emphasis on lower-risk activities.

Ministers have agreed that from July 5, a number of restrictions will be lifted.

These include:

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– Numbers permitted at outdoor events will increase as planned, to a maximum of 200 attendees for the majority of stadia, and to 500 for stadia/venues with capacity greater than 5,000, with appropriate protective measures.

– There should be no limit on the numbers of people that can visit together once they are all fully protected by vaccination or have had Covid-19 infection in the previous nine months.

– Weddings already planned will be permitted to proceed on the basis of the expected changes for July, with 50 guests permitted to attend wedding receptions with protective measures.

– In line with current advice, unvaccinated households may have visitors from one other unvaccinated household.

But indoor activities, including organised events, indoor service in bars and restaurants, group training, exercise and dance will not proceed. People will also be asked to continue to work from home unless it is necessary to attend in person.

In a statement, the Government said the reopening would depend on the implementation of a system to verify the fully vaccinated or those who have immunity from the virus.

“Government will devise an implementation plan by July 19, following further consideration and consultation with relevant sectors,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Government has also extended the closing date of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to July 7.

“The Government also noted revised advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) that the dose interval for the AstraZeneca vaccine should be reduced to four weeks and that those aged 18 to 49 years who wish to opt for earlier vaccination can be offered either the AstraZeneca or the Jannsen vaccine, subject to consent,” the statement added.

“As with previous advice, this will be reviewed from a planning, operational and clinical perspective in the coming days.”


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