What new Covid-19 restrictions come into effect today?


In an attempt to help curb the spread of the new Omicron variant, a number of new Covid-19 restrictions will take effect from today through January 30.

The measures were approved by Cabinet on Friday and come into effect as the Omicron variant becomes the dominant strain in Ireland with 5,124 cases of Covid-19 confirmed on Sunday.

Following public health advice, from today all restaurants, bars and cafes, excluding take-out or delivery services, will close at 8 p.m.

In addition, no indoor event should take place after 8 p.m. and for events that take place earlier in the day, attendance should be limited to 50% of the room’s capacity or 1,000 participants, whichever is greater. is lower.

This includes theaters, but has no impact on business activities and religious, educational or normal business events in the workplace.

Wedding receptions can take place with a capacity limit of 100 guests and continue after 8 p.m., but the midnight closing time still applies.

Everyone should continue to work from home unless necessary.

There are also enhanced measures for those considered to be close contacts.

Those who have not received a booster, including those who are not fully immunized, must restrict their movement for 10 days.

Those who received a booster (effective from one week after receiving the dose) should restrict their movements for five days and perform three antigen tests.

Anyone arriving in the country from overseas will need to undergo antigen or PCR testing in accordance with their vaccination or recovery status.

All passengers arriving in Ireland should now be asked to perform antigen testing daily for a period of five consecutive days from the day of their arrival.

The government will review the measures on January 30, but if the Omicron wave proves less severe, the Taoiseach said they could be revised sooner.

Addressing the nation on Friday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said we are only in the early days of this new wave and data is still being collected, but it is already “very clear that we have dealing with an extremely transmissible strain “.

Already, in just a few days, more than a third of all new cases in the country are due to Omicron.

“The challenge we face, as a government and as a people, is how to slow the increase in the infection to come and how to keep it from getting out of hand,” he said.

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