Covid-19: Most restrictions to be ended by Irish government

Almost all remaining Covid-19 restrictions in the Republic of Ireland are set to end from Monday.

At a cabinet meeting the three government parties backed a plan to end measures including mandatory mask wearing in most settings.

It follows a recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), which will also be abolished.

Physical distancing measures in schools will also end, while testing and tracing will be scaled back.

Masks in schools, retail settings and on public transport will be voluntary.

However, masks will still be required in health care settings.

People will be advised to continue to wear face coverings on public transport, but this is no longer underpinned by law.

“I think it’s appropriate that we step back from some of those sort of restrictions.”


Stephen Donnelly

Image source, Reuters

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said he accepted there was a sense of nervousness among some people and so the advice was to continue to wear masks on public transport.

Speaking on his way into the cabinet on Tuesday morning, he told RTÉ that based on the current trajectory of the disease “and based on how many people have been vaccinated and boosted”, lifting most of the remaining restrictions “is the appropriate thing to do at this time”.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan advised people to continue wearing masks on public transport “because there is still Covid out there – but it won’t be mandatory, there will be no penalties”.

“I think it’s appropriate that we step back from some of those sort of restrictions,” he said.

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