Shall We Dance? Micheál Martin says ban on dancing will be lifted next week

Shall We Dance? Micheál Martin Says Ban On Dancing Will Be Lifted Next Week Shall We Dance? Micheál Martin Says Ban On Dancing Will Be Lifted Next Week
Performers enjoy the St Patrick’s day parade in Dublin, Ireland in pre-pandemic times (Julien Behal/PA), © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Cate McCurry, PA

The ban on dancing in pubs and weddings will be lifted from next week, as live music is set to return from Monday.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that while the legal requirement to ban dancing will be removed, public health advice will “still prevail”.

It has also been confirmed that the 11.30pm curfew on hospitality and the restrictions on six people to a table will be lifted on October 22nd.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “All things going to plan, it’s back to the status quo in hospitality, and back to the old rules, if you like, the pre-pandemic rules, in terms of in terms of closing times.”

Asked about the possibility of people returning to the dancefloors next week, Mr Martin said: “I think there’s some song, Shall We Dance?”


He added: “We’re removing the regulatory prohibition on dance, but the public health advice still prevails.

Eamon Ryan Minister for the Environment Climate and Communications, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar (Julien Behal/PA)

“I think people have to take on board the advice and guidance in respect of what may be a factor in causing the spread of the disease.”

Mr Varadkar said he is looking forward to dancing again.

“I think if things go to plan, we’ll have some of the best Halloween parties in Ireland in a few weeks time,” he told reporters.

“I’m no Michael Gove but I am looking forward to the dancefloor once again.

“When it comes to pubs, restaurants, cafes, those Failte Ireland guidelines remain in place until October 22nd.

“So people are supposed to stay seated and there isn’t going to be dancing in pubs and restaurants and cafes.

“But, you know, we need to be practical too, the legal prohibition will be gone.

“There will be concerts in September.

“Seated ones indoors, and concert outdoors, perhaps in parks.

“We’re not going to rebuke people if they do a bit of dancing.

“Let’s be realistic, we are not going to say to people, you know, if you are at a concert, you have to stay rigidly in your seats for the entire concert.


“We’re not going to say to people, while you’re watching your favourite band, you have to stay rigidly still.

“We’re we’re moving away from the regulations to a more practical approach that isn’t about rebuking people, but it’s about encouraging them to understand the rules.”

A sign for seating at a restaurant in Dublin’s city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr Martin also said that the statutory obligation to wear masks will still continue after the October 22 in health care settings, public transport and retail.

“In terms of education, it will be subject to review and will continued to be subject to review,” Mr Martin added.

“We do not intend to bring in legislation in terms of the application of certificates for outdoor activities.

“That will be down to the operator of a particular event.”

Mr Martin said it will be operators to make the decision in “good faith”.

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