Mask and distancing requirements to ease in October under reopening plan

ireland
Mask And Distancing Requirements To Ease In October Under Reopening Plan Mask And Distancing Requirements To Ease In October Under Reopening Plan
The changes envisaged for October 22nd are contained in draft plans, circulated after a meeting of the Cabinet Covid-19 subcommittee. Photo: PA Images.
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Requirements for mask wearing and physical distancing will ease in many settings from October, under plans being considered by Government.

The Irish Times reports that the final move to end Covid-19 restrictions will also include removing testing or vaccination as grounds for accessing many services.

The changes envisaged for October 22nd are contained in draft plans, circulated last night and this morning following a meeting of the Cabinet Covid-19 subcommittee.

It is understood that under the plans, requirements or mandates for physical distancing will be scrapped, as well as requirements for mask wearing outdoors and indoors in private settings.

Limits on numbers that can meet in private homes, gardens and at outdoor events or engage in sporting activities are also set to be removed, as will any remaining restrictions on indoor sports activities, leisure activities and religious or civil ceremonies.

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The Government is also considering removing certification of immunity or testing as grounds to access services, with the exception of international travel.

Restrictions on high-risk activities such as nightclubs are also under consideration for removal from that date.

However, the draft plans remain subject to revision and may change before this afternoon’s full Cabinet meeting.

Phased strategy

A full meeting of the Cabinet will be held on Tuesday to sign off on the updated roadmap for the easing of remaining Covid-19 restrictions.

A phased reopening strategy is expected over the coming weeks, beginning with increased capacity at outdoor events from Monday, September 6th, and a return of workers to the workplace from Monday, September 20th.

Subject to 90 per cent of the adult population being vaccinated, a key target identified by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) in their latest advice to Government, all remaining restrictions look set to be lifted by October 22nd.

On Monday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed 88.1 per cent of the over 18 population is now fully vaccinated.

One sector seeking clarity from today's announcement is the live events and entertainment industry. Representatives met with the Government on Monday, however, they expressed disappointment that a firm reopening date for the sector was not given by Ministers.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said a date would be given on Tuesday, following the agreement of the Cabinet.

Restrictions on religious services, including the return of Communions and Confirmations, are expected to ease from September 6th.

The Cabinet meeting is due to be held later today, with an announcement expected from the Taoiseach in the early evening, followed by a press briefing by the Coalition leaders.

Once announced, the updated roadmap document will be published on the Government website.

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