NPHET recommends major easing of Covid restrictions, including 8pm hospitality curfew
Big changes could be on the way soon.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended a major easing of Covid-19 restrictions to government, according to reports.
Earlier on Thursday (20 January), the public health team met to discuss the current epidemiological situation in Ireland.
According to multiple reports, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan sent a letter to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly after the meeting supporting the easing of most Covid measures.
This is said to include the scrapping of the 8pm curfew for hospitality and the requirement for a Covid cert to enter pubs and restaurants.
It is also reported that NPHET approved the lifting of current limits on the amount of people who can attend events and gather in a household, as well as recommended a phased return to workplaces.
However, multiple reports state that mask-wearing, people isolating when they have Covid symptoms and Covid passes for international travel are set to remain.
NPHET's recommendations did not include a timeline for the easing of restrictions, with Cabinet to meet on Friday to discuss the advice.
Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that it is very possible that changes to Covid restrictions could be coming next week and that more restrictions could be lifted by the end of January.
"NPHET are meeting today, the government will meet tomorrow, and then after that government meeting, I intend to give a clear and comprehensive statement about what lies ahead in the short term and in the medium term," the Taoiseach told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.
"The situation is positive. We have come through Omicron better than we might have expected prior to Christmas.
"The combination of the booster campaign and vaccination, with the fact that Omicron has not been as virulent as Delta and other variants, has meant that the impact on people in terms of severe illness and death and cases in ICU has been much less.
"People can be positive, we can be positive. I want to thank the people of Ireland for how much they've adapted through the Delta wave and the Omicron wave to enable us to manage and control the impact it's had on our hospital services."
Main image via Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie