Explained: What Covid restrictions have been lifted and what remain?

Almost all Covid-19 restrictions lifted at 6am on Saturday morning
Explained: What Covid restrictions have been lifted and what remain?

Muireann Duffy

Following an announcement from Taoiseach Micheál Martin, almost all Covid-19 restrictions lifted at 6am on Saturday morning.

Here's everything you need to know...

Hospitality

The 8pm curfew has been removed, allowing bars, pubs and restaurants to stay open late once again.

The requirement for patrons to show a Covid certificate in order to eat or drink inside has also been scrapped.

Rules on maximum table numbers, mingling between groups and minimum table distances will also be lifted.

Visiting

The current advice that no more than four households should meet in private homes has been lifted, ending the limit on household gatherings.

Elsewhere, the Irish Prison Service (IPS) has also confirmed prison visits will be permitted to resume as normal from Monday, but some restrictions will remain in facilities where there has been a Covid outbreak. The IPS said there are currently outbreaks in Mountjoy, Midlands, Cork, Limerick and Cloverhill prisons, however, not all areas of the prisons are impacted.

Work from home

Employers will be allowed to implement a phased return to offices, instead of previous guidelines instructing employees to "work from home unless it is necessary to attend the workplace in person".

Events

All capacity limits are to cease, ending the 50 per cent capacity limit brought in before Christmas. As with the hospitality sector, there will no longer be an 8pm curfew.

The 100 guest limit for weddings will also be eased, and the midnight curfew will no longer apply to receptions.

International travel

While Covid certs will no longer be required for indoor dining, and possibly for gyms, leisure centres, cinemas and theatres, the pass will remain for international travel.

However, for people who are unvaccinated or have not recently recovered from the virus, the option to provide proof of a negative/not detected PCR test taken less than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland will remain.

Isolating, close contacts & face masks

One of the few measures to stay in place is the guidance on isolating if you test positive for Covid, if you show symptoms of the virus, or if you are deemed a close contact.

Information on the updated rules for people in each of these three categories can be found on the HSE website.

The two-metre social distancing requirement has also been dropped by Government.

Nphet has recommended that face masks should continue to be worn on public transport and in shops.

Earlier this week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said specific guidance for schools and workplaces will be issued following the announcement of the updated measures.

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