Today, Government agreed Ireland’s plan for the next phase of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19: Reframing the Challenge, Continuing Our Recovery & Reconnecting.
Thanks to the hard work of the Irish people and the progress of our Vaccination Programme, we are now in a position to change our approach to the ongoing management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 88% of the population over 18 are fully vaccinated, with almost 92% of adults (aged 18 and over) having received at least one dose. Subject to the continuation of this progress, we will enter the next phase on the 22nd October, and it is likely to last until at least next Spring.
This phase will see the majority of restrictions lifted and replaced by guidance and advice to enable us to work together to protect ourselves and to live our lives to the fullest extent possible. We will need to continue to monitor the ongoing risk from the disease and take steps individually and collectively in our everyday lives to keep this risk under control.
The Government has agreed that during the interim period between 1st September and 22nd October, we will continue our careful and gradual approach to re-opening, while supporting maximum reach of the vaccine programme and allowing time to achieve the full benefits for all those currently being vaccinated.
- Public Transport: Return to 100% capacity from 1st September
- From 6th September, easing of restrictions on organised indoor and outdoor events / mass gatherings
- From 20th September, easing of restrictions on indoor and outdoor group activities (sports, arts, culture, dance classes etc)
- Attendance at work for specific business requirements may commence on a phased and staggered attendance basis from 20th of September.
(See Notes to Editors)
From October 22nd onwards, the following restrictions will be lifted:
- Requirements for physical distancing
- Requirements for mask wearing outdoors and in indoor private settings
- Limits on numbers at indoor and outdoor events and activities
- Restrictions on religious or civil ceremonies
- Limits on numbers that can meet in private homes/gardens
- Certification of vaccination, immunity or testing as a prerequisite for access to, or engagement in, any activities or events (with exception of international travel)
- Restrictions on high-risk activities (i.e. nightclubs)
As part of this phase, the Government also agreed to the transitioning of the public health response and governance arrangements out of emergency response mode, the maintenance of a robust ongoing public health response, including a vaccine booster programme and economic measures including the targeting of supports and the return to work places.
Measures that will continue to remain in place include self-isolation when we have symptoms, mask wearing in healthcare settings, indoor retail and on public transport.
Notes to Editors
Read Covid-19: Reframing the Challenge, Continuing our Recovery & Reconnecting at www.gov.ie/recovery
The following changes will occur during September:
From 1st September, public transport will return to 100% capacity.
From 6th September, subject to continued protective factors and sectoral guidance:
Organised indoor events/mass gatherings* can take place with capacity limits of 60% of venue capacity where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 within previous 6 months), or accompanied minors (under 18), in line with sectoral guidance. Where patrons have mixed immunity status, there will be no change to the current restrictions during September.
*Indoor Events/Mass Gatherings includes conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions & large-scale business events involving external audiences, and bingo venues. For indoor live music, drama, live entertainment and sporting events, audience/spectators should be fully seated. Easing of capacity limit restrictions does not apply to large privately organised social events.
Live Music - Live music may commence having regard to appropriate protective factors.
Cinemas & Theatres
Cinemas & Theatres will have capacity limits of 60% of venue capacity where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within previous 6 months), or accompanied minors (under 18), in line with sectoral guidance. Where patrons have mixed immunity status, there will be no change to the current limits (50 patrons) during September.
There will be no change to the current limits (100 guests) during September. Live music at weddings will be permitted.
Organised outdoor events/mass gatherings can take place with capacity limits of 75% of venue capacity where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within previous 6 months), or accompanied minors (under 18), in line with sectoral guidance. Where patrons have mixed immunity status, the capacity limit will be 50%, subject to appropriate protective measures including social distancing between groups, face masks etc.
All religious ceremonies can proceed with 50% of venue capacity, regardless of immunity status of attendees.
Coach tour activity can recommence at 50% capacity with protective measures.
From 20th September:
Organised indoor group activities (sports, arts, culture, dance classes etc) can take place with capacity limits of 100 people (with appropriate protective measures) where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from covid-19 within previous 6 months), or accompanied minors (under 18). Where patrons have mixed immunity status, pods of up to 6 participants will be permitted (excluding adult leaders/teachers). Multiple pods will be permissible subject to protective measures. Number of pods will have regard to the size of venue and substantial social distance between individual pods.
Organised outdoor group activities
Restrictions on outdoor group activities for participants will be removed. Note, where applicable, spectator attendance will remain in line with regulations for events.
Return to Workplaces
Attendance at work for specific business requirements may commence on a phased and staggered attendance basis from 20th September.
The Vaccination Programme continues to make significant progress with 88% of the population over 18 having completed vaccination schedule as of 28th August and almost 92% of adults (aged 18 and over) having received at least one dose. The HSE continues to work to achieve maximum uptake including targeted regional campaigns, the continuation of walk-in clinics at weekends; and an information campaign targeted at parents to support 12-15 year olds to attend for vaccination.