Government issues details about the new path to recovery

Image copyright/Kieran Slyne

TODAY the Government announced the next phase of reopening the economy and society in line with Recovery and Resilience: The Path Ahead.

The Government issued a thanks to the extraordinary efforts and support of the Irish people we are progressing though the recovery, with the reopening measures for June now complete and the virus situation remaining broadly stable. The vaccination programme continues to make significant progress with over 4 million doses of the vaccine now administered and over 40% of the population now fully vaccinated. The Economic Recovery Plan is supporting the recovery, with measures and supports to help people get back to work.

The Government continues to follow its plan to review and monitor the control of the virus and follow the prevailing public health advice in support of a safe and gradual reopening. Today’s decision is based on advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), that the incidence of the Delta variant in Ireland, which poses a significant risk, particularly to those who are not yet fully vaccinated is rapidly increasing. For this reason, a cautious approach is maintained, with an emphasis on lower risk activities.

From July 5th, the following measures will apply:

Numbers permitted at outdoor events can increase as planned, to a maximum of 200 attendees for the majority of stadia, and to 500 for stadia/venues with capacity greater than 5,000, with appropriate protective measures.

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There should be no limit on the numbers of people that can visit together once they are all fully protected by vaccination or have had COVID-19 infection in the previous nine months.

As an exception, weddings already planned will be permitted to proceed on the basis of the expected changes for July, with 50 guests permitted to attend wedding receptions with protective measures.

In line with current advice, unvaccinated households may have visitors from one other unvaccinated household.

People should continue to work from home unless necessary to attend in person.
Indoor activities, such as organised events, return of service in bars and restaurants, group training, exercise and dance will not yet proceed, pending the implementation of a system to verify vaccination or immunity. Government will devise an implementation plan by 19th July, following further consideration and consultation with relevant sectors.

Extension of Supports

Given the decision to defer the lifting of certain public health restrictions, and the associated risk of pandemic-related losses of employment among people who have just returned to work in anticipation of businesses re-opening next week, the planned closure of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment to new entrants will be deferred to midnight on 7th July 2021 rather than on midnight on 30th June 2021 as previously agreed.

The Government also noted revised advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) that the dose interval for the AstraZeneca vaccine should be reduced to 4 weeks and that those aged 18-49 years who wish to opt for earlier vaccination can be offered either the AstraZeneca or the Jannsen vaccine, subject to consent. As with previous advice, this will be reviewed from a planning, operational and clinical perspective in the coming days.