Government has voted in favour of extending the emergency Covid-19 legislation to deal with the pandemic until November at the earliest.
The vote narrowly passed in the Dáil, with 73 TDs voting in favour and 68 voting against.
The legislation will allow Government to reimpose restrictions on travel and social gatherings without a Dáil vote.
The Government initially passed this legislation at the beginning of the pandemic to be able to deal quickly and effectively with evolving scenarios and outbreaks of Covid-19.
Opposition TDs strongly criticised the Government voting in favour of the legislation, as the country and society is reopening.
After November, the legislation can be extended for another three months, depending on the epidemiological of Covid-19 in the country at that time.
However, the legislation will not go beyond February 2022.
Opposition TD and Independent Mattie McGrath said, the Government “rammed the extension of emergency powers legislation through the Dáil, without allowing for scrutiny or proper debate”.
He further described the extension of the powers as “drastic, draconian and anti-democratic.”
Ireland will continue to ease its Covid-19 restrictions over the next week, with hotels, B&Bs and guest-houses reopening yesterday, and outdoor dining for restaurants and pubs reopening next week on the 7th of June.