Last night the three government leaders, Tánaiste Varadkar, Taoiseach Martin and chief of Greens, Ryan, agreed on a new approach to the Covid-19 pandemic. This new approach involves the end of nearly all C0vid-19 measures in the country and it was ratified this morning at a Cabinet meeting.
So what does this mean for the country? Well, some have hailed it ‘freedom day’ as only recommendations will remain and it will be up to the public whether or not they continue to observe certain habits and measures taken over the course of the past two years.
Masks mandates end entirely from February 28 (Monday). So, there is no longer any legal requirement to wear a mask in any setting (except healthcare settings) but Mr. Varadkar does advise that people continue to wear masks on public transport.
He also predicts that some people will choose to continue wearing masks after ‘freedom day’, especially if they themselves are clinically vulnerable or have symptoms.
Schools will also look very different come Monday. Kids won’t be socially distanced and measures put in place during the pandemic such as staggered breaks can go. The advisory body NPHET is expected to disappear over time and the vaccine will no longer be mandated. Instead, it will simply be encouraged.
People should still isolate if they have symptoms, and you can read more on how to self-isolate on the government website. There is also a list of support schemes available to those who have to isolate on the website.