Indoor dining return on July 5 could be in jeopardy over Delta variant 1 month ago

Indoor dining return on July 5 could be in jeopardy over Delta variant

A signifiant lift in restrictions is due next month.

Indoor dining and the expected lifting of other restrictions could be in jeopardy over the Delta variant of Covid-19.

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The variant, first detected in India, has been dominant in the UK for some weeks now, already pushing back the country's "freedom day" by at least four weeks.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has since said that it is "too early" to know if the July 5 easing of restrictions in Ireland will go ahead as planned.

"We don't want to go backwards and the hospitality industry do not want us to push too far", Donnelly said this morning on RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

The Minister said the government wanted to avoid putting "everything at risk and people have to close down" should restrictions be lifted too early.

"We know Covid tears up the best laid plans and it's a rapidly evolving situation with Delta," he said.

Donnelly added that one in five new Covid cases recorded in Ireland are the Delta variant of the virus. However he added that aside from this, Ireland is making great progress in fighting coronavirus in the community.

Indoor dining and indoor services at pubs and bars are expected to resume on July 5 after almost six months of closure. Outdoor dining resumed across the country last month.

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The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will conduct a thorough analysis on Ireland's current Covid situation in the coming week. The government is expected to make an announcement on the further reopening of Ireland's economy next week.