CONFIRMED: Glorious normality beckons as vast majority of restrictions to be scrapped 3 months ago

CONFIRMED: Glorious normality beckons as vast majority of restrictions to be scrapped

The Taoiseach has made an optimistic address to the nation.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that the vast majority of Covid-19 restrictions will be scrapped from 6am on Saturday (22 January).

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Under the plans, the 8pm curfew for hospitality and other venues is to be removed, which will enable restaurants, pubs and nightclubs to resume normal hours.

Other restrictions to be scrapped on Saturday include the limit on the numbers who can attend households and indoor and outdoor events.

Meanwhile, the requirement for a Covid cert to enter bars, restaurants and other venues is also to be eased, though the cert will still be needed for international travel.

In terms of what other measures will remain, these include mask-wearing, until the end of February, and people isolating when they have Covid symptoms.

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Declaring "today is a good day" and that Ireland has weathered "the Omicron storm", the Taoiseach also confirmed that a phased return to workplaces will commence from Monday.

On Thursday night, it was reported that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) recommended a major easing of restrictions to government.

However, its recommendations did not include a timeline for the easing of restrictions, which was decided by government on Friday.

"Certainly, I think, the view across government is that if there's no longer a public health rationale for any particular restrictions, well then there's no political rationale for it either," Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said ahead of the announcement.

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