- 29 Jun 21
"We do not want to lose the progress we have made," Taoiseach Micheál Martin said when he explained the decision earlier today (June 29). Many are frustrated with the decision, so much so that #DisbandNPHET has started trending on Twitter...
There is no sign of the hoped-for opening up, in relation to outdoor live music events, despite the fact that across the UK, Europe and the US, outdoor live events are increasingly being allowed to return to full capacity. The maximum capacity at outdoor live shows in Ireland – with the exception of pilot events run by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, the Gaeltacht, Sport and Media – remains at 500, and that figure only applies where the capacity of the venue is over 5,000. Otherwise an upper limit of 200 attendees remains in place.
Additionally, at recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), Taoiseach Micheál Martin has announced that indoor dining services – which Ireland hoped to see return on July 5 – will be delayed once more.
Mr. Martin also said that NPHET's advice was given in context of the new Delta variant of Covid-19, which is said to be more transmissible than previous strains. "We are in a race between the variant and vaccine...and we want to do everything we can to ensure the vaccines win," said the Taoiseach, speaking at the Government buildings today (June 29).
The idea is to limit access of indoor dining to fully vaccinated folks, or those who have recently recovered from Covid-19. Though there is no set date for when this will begin, the Government are hoping to have a plan ready for July 19 in relation to indoor dining.
The Taoiseach said he knows the delay will be met with "dismay and frustration" from the public, but that the Government will provide supports in the coming weeks.
Everything's been bananas for a good while now. Not shocked anymore. @alankellylabour thanks for pointing this out to the curators of the madness. We'll have some common sense now please. #reopening https://t.co/EDg0lIZYyf
— Cllr. Juliet O Connell (@julietoconnell) June 29, 2021
He also said that the Government's wants to make sure that sectors can remain open when they eventually do let people through their doors, as the back-and-forth nature of consistent openings and closures badly impacts mental wellbeing and business sectors.
The Government are urging people to register for and get their vaccines as soon as possible, and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that that NPHET's advice is that at indoor events, the unvaccinated are at a high risk of infection from the Delta variant of Covid-19.
Some people are indeed expressing frustration with the Government/NPHET's advice. Adrian Cummins said on RTÉ's Morning Ireland that the plan to allow fully vaccinated people dine indoors is "discriminatory and unworkable”. He said the RAI has investigated other regions, including Denmark and Israel, where similar plans were unsuccessful. Mr Cummins added that there are also legal questions about the discriminatory nature of the plans under the Equal Status Act.
The Govt's plans to reopen hospitality are "completely unworkable, totally unenforceable and raise serious legal and ethical issues", according to @RoisinShortall.
We have no answers, only questions, following the Taoiseach's press conference today.https://t.co/SovKVI1HpA
— Social Democrats (@SocDems) June 29, 2021
Elsewhere, weddings that have already been planned will be allowed to proceed under the new guidance, with 50 guests being able to attend wedding receptions from July 5, with protective measures, and Internationaal travel will also see an ease in restrictions once the EU Digital Covid Certificate is fully operational in the country.
"Depending on the prevailing public health situation at the time, Ireland will operate the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) for travel originating within the EU/EEA," a statement said.
That said, the Government's current advice is to avoid non-essential international travel.