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Cabinet meets today to consider recommendations to ease Covid-19 restrictions


A Cabinet Covid subcommittee meeting will follow the Taoiseach’s meeting with Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan this afternoon.

The National Public Health Emergency Team yesterday approved the lifting of practically all restrictions, including the 8 p.m. hospitality curfew, event attendance limits, and the need for a Covid card.

Dr Tony Holohan, CMO, sent the recommendations to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly yesterday night.

The CMO says most current initiatives have lost their public health justification.

Household visitation guidelines will also be lifted. But mask-wearing, the Covid Cert for overseas travel, and coronavirus isolation rules will continue.

No timetable has been set for the cancellation of measures, leaving it up to the Government.

Later this evening, the Taoiseach is due to address the country on the issue.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) said today that restrictions should be relaxed “absolutely” tonight.

“We’ve heard for two years that we should always heed public health advice,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland. The
We want the government to repeal the 8pm limit on businesses having to turn away consumers. It’s simple to restore normal trading hours. Public health counsel now advises lifting limitations, and the government can do so immediately if desired.
Businesses willing to launch immediately should be permitted to do so, he said.

We understand that some firms may not have enough stock, but we encourage them to trade into normal trading hours tonight. That’s our job.”

Cummins anticipates some people to be cautious and avoid returning to bars and restaurants.

“Some people will be wary of Covid, and they should be. Covid should be avoided in the future. “We have to accept that Covid is here to stay, and we need to prepare for the possibility of another variation appearing in the future,” he said.

He also wants the two-month extension of the Covid support payments offered to firms in December when limits were imposed.

“We’ve had nearly 23 months of limitations. “I think we should have an open dialogue with the administration about such payments,” he stated.

In an industry that has been economically devastated, many enterprises will be on the verge of failure when those payments stop.

“They shut us down immediately, therefore let us open swiftly,” said Tony Walker of the Slieve Russell Hotel in Cavan.

He said he hopes the limit on wedding guests is lifted because they make approximately 30-35 percent of his business.

A commercial problem for him has been the fact that 45 percent of his business is from Northern Ireland couples who want to marry with him.

By lifting the number cap today, couples planning their big day will be relieved of much of the current uncertainty.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has called on the government to enable all hospitality firms to trade normally from tomorrow.

Donall O’Keeffe of the Licensed Vintners Association agreed.

“Hospitality is eager to welcome you this weekend. If the government approves, the hotel and nightlife sectors might start recovering as early as Friday night,” he said. he called it a “amazing day for hospitality” and expected limitations to be eased immediately.