October 22 was a wonderful day for the nation, as venues and pubs enjoyed standard opening hours for the first time in 2021, following lockdown and imposed curfews.
Unfortunately, we’ve had to take another step back to go forward, as the cabinet has agreed that hospitality venues must shut up shop from midnight each day. It comes just weeks after nightclubs opened for the first time in 19 months.
Coming into effect on Thursday (November 18), the new rules come in a bid to curb the rising Covid-19 numbers. Pubs, restaurants and nightclubs will all be affected.
Included in the bill is also the requirement for cinema and theatre attendees to show double-vaccine passes. This does not, however, extend to gyms and hairdressers. Household close contacts will also need to restrict their movements until three antigen results come back to them.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that “enhanced restrictions” may be needed in the winter. “Unfortunately and it’s hard to say this, but the situation is difficult and we’re going to have to get through a difficult winter,” he added.
The cabinet’s focus is on rolling out the vaccine booster programme to all over-50s. Third shots will also be approved for those with underlying health conditions.
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