Pubs and restaurants set to close at 8pm under new restrictions
The latest from Government.
Pubs and restaurants are set to close at 8pm under the new proposals heading to Cabinet this evening as a way of slowing the spread of the Omicron variant in Ireland.
The Cabinet sub-committee has rejected Nphet's recommendation to close hospitality at 5pm which was given in a letter to the Government last night and instead going for the later time of 8pm.
According to RTÉ News, NPHET has expressed "exceptional" concern over the rise of the Omicron variant and the increasing pressure that currently faces the Irish healthcare system.
In addition to pubs and restaurants, NPHET is also recommending a 5pm shutdown for sporting, theatre and cultural gatherings – including cinemas – as well as a reduction to 50% capacity – or a maximum of 5,000 people – for outdoor events.
It is understood that NPHET regards large gatherings as potential super-spreader events at a time when the Omicron variant continues to rapidly emerge amidst daily Covid case figures.
They are also recommending that these restrictions are to stay in place until January 30th, according to Independent.ie.
A full cabinet meeting is underway with an address expected to be given by An Taoiseach Micheal Martin later today.
There are also proposals for a 100-person limit on attendees at weddings after 8pm, with minister being asked to consider the measures and they will then be reviewed again on January 11th.
Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 on Friday, Restaurant Association of Ireland chief executive Adrian Cummins referred to the potential measures as "effectively a hospitality lockdown" and "a shock to our industry" while questioning the previous deployment of the Covid vaccination passport.
Furthermore, it is expected that close contacts of a confirmed Covid case who have not received a booster vaccine dose will be asked to restrict their movements.
Limitations on household visits are reportedly unaffected. At present, people from as many as three households can gather in a fourth household.
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