Breaking: Irish hospitality curfew is agreed by cabinet to curb Covid

Spain to strengthen counter-terrorism measures over Christmas

The Irish Cabinet has agreed that hospitality venues, cinemas and theatres should have a closing time of 20:00 to help curb the steep rise in infections that the new Omicron variant is threatening. The Ministers have decided on the Irish hospitality curfew after following advice from health officials.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) had originally recommended a 17:00 cut off from Monday. Taoiseach Micheál Martin did a televised address on the evening of Friday 17 December and announced that more than a third of the new Irish cases in recent days were due to the new variant.

“The Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is exploding through Europe,” Mr Martin said.

“It is here, it is in our country and we are going to see a massive rise in infections.”

The cabinet has agreed that the measures will stay in place until 30 January, with that date being kept under review.

Other measures agreed on Friday include:

  • Number of spectators allowed to attend sporting events to be capped at 50% capacity, up to a maximum of 5,000 people.
  • Weddings will have a cut-off time of midnight and an attendance cap of 100
  • No changes to domestic travel arrangements and no change to four households visiting restriction.

Earlier this month, the Irish government introduced measures that were expected to last until 9 January.

These included the closure of nightclubs, attendance limits on concerts and sporting fixtures and tighter restrictions on the hospitality sector.

Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, tweeted: Huge anger across the Hospitality regarding NPHETs request to close at 5 pm. Why wasn’t the booster campaign rolled out faster? Why can’t those with boosters enter Hospitality premises using COVID pass if Gov approves 5pm Irish hospitality curfew? Where is the plan to keep Hospitality open viably”.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Author badge placeholder
Written by

Claire Gordon