Hugh O’Connell, Ciara O’Loughlin and Gabija Gataveckaite
THE government has agreed to turn down Nphet’s advice for a new 5pm curfew for hospitality and instead a 8pm closure until January 30th
The 8 p.m. curfew also applies to hotel bars and restaurants, as well as other indoor events, including entertainment, cultural, community and sporting events.
In his announcement tonight, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, that the spread of Omicron will be different from anything we’ve seen before.
He said that Omicron is « rippling through the populations of other countries » and that « there is no silver bullet. »
« We speak about living with Covid and many think it means living before Covid again but it is not.
« The news tonight is going to be deeply disappointing for many, it’s not the news, i.e. As I wanted to bring you, the truth is that next year we will be in a much better place than this time and in 2022 we will be in a much better place. « he added.
Mr. Martin said the country was in a much better place with the virus than it was at this time last year and that » we need to get safely to the other side of this Omicron wave « .
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« Right now, as I speak to you, the Omicron variant is exploding across Europe, » he said.
« The concern is the highest I have ever seen, we are still at the beginning of this new wave.
« We will see a massive increase in infections, over a third of all new cases are due to Omicron, » he added.
The measures come into effect this Sunday at midnight, so from Monday the curfew is at 8 p.m.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said in a message to the hospitality industry: « This is not the Christmas we expected » and it « exceeds our worst fears ».
He said, that « the Omicron wave will come hard and fast, cases will break all records, maybe next week ».
« I can’t promise that next summer or Christmas will be better, but I promise that we will everything will do what we can.
« I didn’t think it would It would take a long time, it would last 2 years and could last several years, it was a long war, « he added.
Nphet had recommended a 5:00 pm closing time for pubs and restaurants as well as January 30th to keep a number of new restrictions in place for indoor and outdoor events.
The recommendation came last night in a letter from Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan to Health Stephen Donnelly.
There has been significant opposition to the 5:00 p.m. hospitality curfew on the back seats of the government and some ministers.
The Department of Health announced today that Omicron has 35 percent of the confirmed Covid-19 cases.
In addition to the curfew for hospitality, Nphet also recommended that participation in outdoor events be limited to 50 people or 5,000 participants. It was recommended that indoor theater, movie theaters, entertainment, cultural and sporting events also have a curfew at 5:00 p.m. and that attendance should be limited to 50 people.
Other nphet advice to be released tonight Government scrutiny also states that close contacts of confirmed cases that have not been fully vaccinated and recharged should be restricted for 10 days.
The HSE is asked to determine the most appropriate testing plan for this cohort consider, but the advice does not specify whether it is antigen or PCR testing.
It is also assumed that Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly has received advice from his department on the quarantine requirements for those who from seven South African countries.
However, you must continue to undergo the current testing requirements, but do not have to be quarantined unless d If, they will test positive.
Another 3,628 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening, 420 patients in the hospital, 105 of them in the intensive care unit.
The coalition is facing violent backlashes to the proposal from backbenchers faced pubs and restaurants to close at 5 p.m.
Seven Senators from Fianna Fáil walked to the base of Leinster House this afternoon and said the recommended closing time at 5 p.m. is a “step too far” for hospitality.
Led by Senator Lisa Chambers, Senators Shane Cassells, Fiona O’Loughlin, Malcolm Byrne, Eugene Murphy, Pat Casey and Paul Daly said the 5:00 p.m. closure was an effective closure of the sector.
» This recommendation should not be accepted by the government. The government needs to take into account the social and economic implications of these decisions, « she said.
She said that the senators would not leave the party if the government decided to adopt the 5pm recommendation and did the Government support.
Ms. Chambers said the proposed 5pm closure for hospitality meant « many rural pubs cannot open at all as they often only open in the evenings ».
She previously said on Twitter : “People will socialize at home. Surely it is better and safer to have regulated spaces like bars and restaurants? «
Senator Casey, who owns a hotel, said the closure of the sector was » secretly « .
» The 12 pubs of Christmas will be the 12 house parties of Christmas, « said Senator Malcolm Byrne.
Mr Byrne said he was » totally against « the 5pm closure and said it would » simply lead to an increase in house parties. » / p> Mr Murphy also tweeted, « Since most pubs don’t open until 6pm, I can’t see any possible proposal from NPHET to close at 5pm that is acceptable to the government. »
Former Minister for Fine Gael’s rural affairs Michael Ring called for the advice to be dismissed, while his former cabinet colleague Regina Doherty tweeted, « What if Nphet really says two double-vaccinated and upgraded people can’t eat pizza and beer after 5 p.m.? then I’ll give up. «
Former Agriculture Secretary and backbencher for Fianna Fáil, Barry Cowen, tweeted, » Obviously I’m not privy to specific details of the Nphet recommendations, but certainly a 9 or 10pm curfew with weekly reviews of the numbers.
« Reinforce boosters with updated Covid certificates for access to all indoor events. People are open to compromise, not confrontation, in the interests of public health. «
Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly and senior ministers are now caught in a crossfire between the advice of Nphet and the views of several TDs and Senators calling for the new rules to be weakened
Nphet has also recommended that attendance at outdoor events should be limited to 50 people or 5,000 participants. It has also been recommended that indoor theater, cinemas, entertainment, cultural and sporting events should also be curfew at 5pm : 00 a.m. and the number of participants should be limited to 50 people.
The chief physician Dr. Tony Holohan has informed Health Minister Donnelly in a letter that the new restrictions should come into force as soon as possible and at the latest by midnight on Sunday .
While the Cabinet Subcommittee and the entire Cabinet meet this Friday afternoon for the To consider new advice from public health officials, TDs and senators in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have expressed strong opposition and skepticism about the need to close the hospitality at 5 p.m.
However, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has a strong reference to this given that the government may be willing to accept some or all of Nphet’s advice, and tweeted, « We all feel anger, frustration, dismay and depression, but that can’t stop us from doing the right thing. » Protecting our people. ”In a joint statement, FF Senators Casey and Crowe condemned the planned 5pm closure of the entire hospitality industry as“ catastrophic and discriminatory for the thousands of hospitality workers, as this would have a disproportionate impact the people of rural Ireland will have ”.
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