CONFIRMED: Work from home, midnight pub curfew and household Covid isolation among new restrictions 2 months ago

CONFIRMED: Work from home, midnight pub curfew and household Covid isolation among new restrictions

The Taoiseach has addressed the nation.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that a midnight curfew is to be imposed on pubs, restaurants and nightclubs as part of measures to combat the latest Covid-19 wave.

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Under the new rules, all on-licensed premises will have to shut their doors at midnight from this Thursday (18 November).

The change comes less than a month after nightclubs were permitted to open after 19 months of closure and normal opening hours for pubs and restaurants had returned following an 11.30pm curfew.

Also as part of measures to curb the recent rise in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations, household contacts of a confirmed case will have to restrict their movements for five days and take three antigen tests.

This practice will apply regardless of the vaccination status of the affected individuals.

Meanwhile, members of the public are asked to work from home unless their in-person attendance is necessary from Friday, while the Taoiseach also confirmed that the use of Covid-19 certs will be extended to cinemas and theatres.

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Martin said during his address that if the current virus surge continues, no healthcare system could withstand it.

“I know that the picture emerging across Europe and the increasing numbers across the past week in our own country are a cause of deep concern, and I know that no one wants to go back to widespread restrictions," he stated.

"That is what this evening is about.”

Ahead of the announcement, the Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) and the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) both blasted the Government's decision to reintroduce a midnight curfew for the hospitality sector.

Prior to the Taoiseach's address, the Department of Health confirmed 4,407 new cases of Covid-19 across the country.

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614 patients are currently in hospital, with 114 of those in ICU.