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Friday, December 3, 2021

It’s too early to decide over July 5th reopening, says Health Minister

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has stated that it’s too early to decide whether the further easing of restrictions will go ahead on the 5th of July. Donnelly stated, “We know Covid tears up the best-laid plans and it’s a rapidly evolving situation with Delta.”

The Cabinet is expected to make a decision on easing the restrictions by next week following a detailed analysis from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), along with an economic and social analysis.

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While stating that the government wants to make decisions regarding the easing of restrictions in the best interests of a sustainable reopening, Donnelly said, “We don’t want to go backwards and the hospitality industry do not want us to push too far,”.

Donnelly added that he is concerned about the Delta variant despite a decline in Covid-19 case numbers, with data revealing that one in five new cases in the last week was the Delta variant.

In regards to international travel, plans are to go ahead from the 19th of July, with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar stating that young people will be allowed to travel abroad this summer regardless of their vaccination status.

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Although it’s not clear if plans for reopening indoor hospitality will go ahead, Restaurants Association Ireland stated that any delay in reopening the indoor hospitality sector will have a catastrophic economic effect on restaurants, cafés and pubs. It added that businesses are currently in the planning stage with regards to restocking.

A decision is to be made next Thursday on whether indoor hospitality will reopen from the 5th of July.

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