Dublin, Ireland – The Irish government has announced plans to lift most of the country’s COVID-19 restrictions by October 22, 2021. The decision comes after a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the country. The announcement was made by Taoiseach Micheál Martin during a press conference on September 21, 2021.
Under the new plan, indoor dining will be allowed for vaccinated individuals from September 27, 2021. The number of people allowed to attend indoor events will also increase from 100 to 150, while outdoor events can have up to 500 attendees. From October 22, 2021, all remaining restrictions will be lifted, including the requirement to wear masks indoors.
The decision to lift restrictions has been met with mixed reactions. While some have welcomed the move as a sign of progress in the fight against COVID-19, others have expressed concerns about the potential for a resurgence in cases. The government has emphasized the importance of continuing to follow public health guidelines, including getting vaccinated and wearing masks in crowded indoor spaces.
The announcement comes as Ireland continues to make progress in its vaccination rollout. As of September 21, 2021, over 6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the country, with over 85% of the eligible population having received at least one dose. The government has urged those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.
The lifting of restrictions is expected to have a positive impact on the Irish economy, particularly the hospitality and tourism sectors. The government has announced a range of supports for these sectors, including a €250 million fund to help businesses affected by the pandemic.
However, there are concerns about the potential for a surge in COVID-19 cases as restrictions are lifted. The government has emphasized the importance of continuing to follow public health guidelines, including getting vaccinated and wearing masks in crowded indoor spaces.
The announcement has also been met with criticism from some quarters. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has expressed concern about the potential impact on workers in sectors such as hospitality, who may be at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 as restrictions are lifted.
Overall, the lifting of restrictions is a positive step forward for Ireland as it continues to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is important for individuals and businesses to continue to follow public health guidelines to ensure that progress is not undone.
In other news, the Irish government has announced plans to introduce legislation that would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. The move is part of the government’s efforts to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.
Under the new legislation, only zero-emission vehicles will be allowed to be sold in Ireland from 2030 onwards. The government has also announced a range of supports for the electric vehicle (EV) sector, including the expansion of the public charging network and the introduction of grants and tax incentives for EV buyers.
The move has been welcomed by environmental groups, who have called for more ambitious action to tackle climate change. However, there are concerns about the potential impact on the Irish car industry, which currently employs over 40,000 people.
The government has emphasized the importance of a just transition to a low-carbon economy, with plans to support affected workers and communities. The introduction of the legislation is also expected to have a positive impact on air quality, particularly in urban areas.
Overall, the move to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is a significant step towards a more sustainable future for Ireland. However, it will require a concerted effort from all sectors of society to ensure a successful transition to a low-carbon economy.