Reopening to proceed with full capacity on transport as Covid ‘not going away’

ireland
Reopening To Proceed With Full Capacity On Transport As Covid ‘Not Going Away’ Reopening To Proceed With Full Capacity On Transport As Covid ‘Not Going Away’
With office returns on the agenda, Minister Eamon Ryan said the current 75 per cent capacity limit will be lifted. Photo: PA Images.
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Public transport will return to full capacity next week to accommodate upcoming returns to schools, colleges and offices, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said on Sunday.

Mr Ryan told The Irish Times the resumption of full public transport services would resume from next Wednesday, following agreement by the Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday.

Earlier, he told RTÉ Radio’s This Week that the Government was “unwinding restrictions stage by stage” as it finalises new reopening plans, but Covid-19 was “not going to go away”.

With office returns on the agenda, Mr Ryan said the current 75 per cent capacity limit will be lifted on public transport next week.

One of the most “significant” features of the next stage of reopening would be office returns, Mr Ryan said, adding that employers would be given flexibility to manage the process.

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Churches would also be allowed to resume holding Communions and Confirmations “very quickly” in September under the plans, he said.

Discussions about the holding of the Electric Picnic music festival were ongoing, Mr Ryan said, but the matter was “complicated because of planning” and a solution had not been reached.

‘Risky position’

“We are unwinding restrictions stage by stage, bringing sectors back to life, and doing it in a way so it doesn’t reverse, so we’ll really maintain the approach that has worked,” he said.

The Minister cautioned that the country was still in a “risky position” due to high Covid-19 case numbers.

People and organisations would have to take personal responsibility during the next phase of the pandemic, he said.

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Covid is not going to go away

This would include premises ensuring good ventilation, wearing masks and leaving indoor settings if they became crowded.

Mr Ryan added that the country’s mandatory hotel quarantine system would be maintained, and it could be “ramped up” again if a new variant of concern emerged.

“Covid is not going to go away, it seems, and the idea that we could completely eradicate it seems increasingly unlikely and difficult, globally,” he said.

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