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19th Oct 2021

Here’s what you can and can’t do from Friday as restrictions change

Dave Hanratty

Friday October 22 reopening guide

Friday is not quite ‘Freedom Day’, after all…

After much speculation, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has outlined the state of the country’s reopening plan for this forthcoming Friday, 22 October.

The official announcement has been met with a certain degree of confusion, particularly with regard to indoor activities such as nightclubs, pubs and gigs.

“There are going to anomalies and there are going to be contradictions,” said Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

“The further easing of restrictions planned for 22 October can proceed with the extension of some non-pharmaceutical interventions including use of the Covid-19 pass in light of the high level of disease in the community at this point in time and the uncertain trajectory of the disease,” noted a government statement.

With all of that in mind, you may be wondering – ‘Well, what can I do?’ from Friday.

Let’s break it down.

Indoor Hospitality

  • EU Digital Covid Certificates will be required for all indoor hospitality and events
  • Face masks are required, but may be removed for consumption of food or drinks as appropriate
  • Table service only in hospitality settings
  • Maximum of 10 adults per table / maximum of 15 including children
  • Collection of contact tracing data

Indoor Live Music / Events

The same basic restrictions as listed above apply in addition to:

  • For indoor live music, drama, sport or entertainment of any kind; audience members should be fully seated
  • Standing is, however, permitted at your seat
  • The above ruling effectively rules out the return of standing-only gigs for now
  • Organisers of indoor group activities should ensure that appropriate protective measures are in place,
  • Where indoor groups have a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people indoors, pods of six should apply


Once again, the aforementioned restrictions of Covid passes, face coverings, et cetera, apply.

  • Specific sectoral guidance is due to be developed for nightclubs, establishing approved protective measures
  • This guidance will be communicated with the relevant sectors, though a timeline has not been presented
  • As above, Covid-19 passes, contact tracing data collection and wearing of face masks except when eating, drinking and dancing will apply
  • Dancing is permitted, though social distancing measures are to be adhered to

Outdoor Events

  • Covid-19 passes and fixed capacity limits will not apply for outdoor events
  • However, sectors are nonetheless instructed to ensure that protective measures are in place
  • Organisers of outdoor group activities should also ensure that protective measures are in place

Weddings / Religious Services

  • Weddings and religious services may proceed without capacity limits
  • All other protective measures must remain in place


  • The return to workplaces will continue on a “phased and cautious” basis, per specific business requirements

On that, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has stated that a full return to offices “as we knew them” isn’t likely to occur until spring of 2022 at the earliest.

The official list of protective measures, as approved by the government, can be accessed here.

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