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Confirmed: Covid restrictions to be lifted – ‘today is a good day’ says Taoiseach in latest address

Taoiseach Micheal Martin

Gone, gone, gone!

Almost all Covid-19 restrictions will lapse from 6am tomorrow, it has been confirmed by Taoiseach Micheal Martin this evening.

In his latest national address, he confirmed that the early closing time for hospitality and events will be scrapped as will the capacity restrictions for outdoor events.

The need for vaccination certs will also be dropped though mask wearing will be required in all settings until February 28.

Digital Covid Cert for international travel and isolation rules for those who have Covid symptoms will remain in place.

A phased return to the office will begin from Monday .

Mask wearing will be required in all setting where it is currently regulated for until February 28th, with protective measures in schools and childcare facilities remaining until that date. Ministers were told there is a “broadly positive” outlook despite a significant load on hospitals.

“I can’t promise you there won’t be other twists,” said the Taoiseach.

Meanwhile, additional supports will be provided for businesses hit by restrictions introduced in December, who will be given the higher rate of employment wage subsidy scheme (EWSS) for a month after it is due to be reduced on February 1st.

The EWSS more generally will reduce as planned for other businesses, transitioning to a flat rate subsidy in March and April before ending on April 30th.

For those receiving extended subsidies – ie, those who were hit by December restrictions, it will continue as a flat rate for April and May.

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment is set to close to new applicants from Saturday, due to restrictions lifting. Meanwhile, the transition of recipients back onto regular jobseeker rate of €208 will happen on 8 March, not February 8th as had been planned.

SEE ALSO – After almost two years closed, Portlaoise Leisure Centre will re-open at the end of February

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