Ireland to scrap almost all Covid restrictions, bars allowed to open till late

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Jan 21, 2022, 11:45 PM(IST)

Ireland to scrap almost all Covid restrictions Photograph:( Reuters )

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After advice from public health officials, the government decided that bars and restaurants will no longer need to close at 8pm. Also, the capacity in indoor and outdoor venues is set to return to full.

Ireland on Saturday will drop all Covid related restrictions. This comes after a major surge in cases did not cause any increase in ICU numbers.

According to a report by Reuters, after advice from public health officials, the government decided that bars and restaurants will no longer need to close at 8pm. Also, the capacity in indoor and outdoor venues is set to return to full.

However, measures like wearing a mask on public transport and in shops will remain in place for now.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee in a video said, "I am so pleased to be able to say that as of 6 am tomorrow, the vast majority of restrictions that have been in place for almost two years now, on and off, will be lifted."

"I don't think any of us thought we'd actually be getting to this point as quickly as we are now," she added. 

These changes are introduced at a time when several governments are coming around to the idea that Covid may be endemic like the flu and asking people to live with it. 

Also read | Are we ready to treat Covid like the flu? Some nations are increasingly thinking so

Switzerland’s interior minister Alain Berset has said that the transition from pandemic to a stage like the flu may be considered. While speaking at a media conference, he said, “We may be on the eve of a watershed, the transition from a pandemic phase to an endemic phase."

Britain’s Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, told the BBC that the UK is “on a path towards transitioning from pandemic to endemic." 

Travel restrictions may also be eased in several European nations. Many countries have shortened their quarantine time. In Estonia and Iceland, quarantine time has been reduced to seven days.

Slovenia has also shortened its quarantine time to five days. 

Norway, also, is looking forward to relaxing some Covid restrictions. The Scandinavian country will partly reverse a ban on serving alcohol in bars and restaurants, reports Reuters.

Restrictions in the Netherlands have also been eased. Non-essential stores, hairdressers and gyms will now be allowed to reopen. However, only a limited number of customers will be permitted.

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