‘I am really concerned’: What readers think of lifting Covid restrictions

We asked if readers agreed with the latest reopening or if it was too much too soon

A busy South William Street as nightclubs reopened in Dublin on Friday. Photograph:  Damien Eagers

A busy South William Street as nightclubs reopened in Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Damien Eagers

 

We asked readers to tell us what they thought of the Government’s decision to continue with the latest lifting of restrictions including allowing late bars and nightclubs to reopen. These are a selection of the responses we received.

John Gleeson
Ireland
I am in my early 70s. I am very anxious to see society fully reopened as I, together with my wife who is in her late 60s, wish to resume normal life, doing all the things we like to do. I believe full reopening should be possible provided there is strict and comprehensive enforcement of the rules about having a vaccination certificate, wearing a mask etc.

Una Sheehan
Dublin, Ireland
Opening too soon, just as cases surge to 2,500 today!

Paloma Pérez Valdés
Ireland
Colleges have only been opened for five or six weeks. We don’t know yet the extent of infection among third-level students. This information is vital before making the decision of opening nightclubs, as university students would constitute the majority of clubbers. One thing at a time would have been more prudent. I understand they want to dance, but medical professionals mainly, and other professionals too, would like to have family life, and be safe. Unfair.

Denise Brown
Ireland
Lifting restrictions is insane when cases are on the rise again. I understand that businesses are desperate, but who seriously thinks it is safe to keep us all behind masks and yet let people loose on the dancefloor, not socially distanced, breathing harder because they are dancing, without covering up? The Government should stop being wusses and stand firm, otherwise we’re never going to get rid of this thing. If they had done that at the start, and completely closed us off from the world as well as doing full lockdowns for sensible amounts of time, not just a few weeks here and there, we wouldn’t be where we are now. Opening the country up now is way too much, way too soon. If we open up now we are probably in for a very locked-down Christmas and more deaths.

Ronan Daly
Dublin, Ireland
Its baffling that 80 per cent of the population is vaccinated yet Covid cases are rising. Do the vaccinations work?

Kevin Power
Ireland
I thought the level of restrictions we were in for the past few months was the perfect middle ground. Not many were complaining as we could still enjoy food and drink indoors, but went home early before it got messy and social distancing disappeared. I hope we can all get a booster in November so things don’t get out of hand again. Looking forward to a December that is not fraught with uncertainty and death.

Audrey Kelly
Ireland
I am so angry still about the decisions taken last December and the consequences which were clearly set out in advance by Nphet and which the Government chose to ignore. And now here we go again . . .

C Hayes
Ireland
I am really concerned. Cases are increasing and we are enabling uncontrolled crowded situations where Covid will further spread. I do not believe that night clubs or pubs will enforce or be able to enforce Covid guidelines. If there is alcohol involved there is no hope of enforcement. I have been in two restaurants recently where vaccine certs were not checked. Both restaurants said this was an error due to new staff not being trained – but I feel that it was restaurant policy in each case. This lifting of restrictions will lead to more deaths, inevitably of older and weaker people, even though the overall vaccination rates are high. For my part, I intend to avoid pubs and all potentially crowded entertainment venues.

Shauna Kearney
The lifting of restrictions and a return to 100 per cent capacity in places like nightclubs and public transport coming into the winter months seems daft. It is an ideal breeding ground for Covid-19. I predict that at the rate we are going, we will have a disastrous Christmas period. Irish society and the world need to learn that Covid is not going anywhere. Politicians are advancing naivety onto society that Covid will subside in a few months, for the past 20 months it has been “in a few months we can do this, in a few months we can do that”. What happened to learning to live with Covid? Surely a smart thing to do would be to understand that this virus is hard to manage in the winter months, and easy enough in the summer. So have larger capacities in the summer and reduced in the winter. I understand business owners will not like this and want to get back to normal. But there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about this. We thought the magic wand would be vaccines, but as we now know vaccines efficacy is waning just in time for winter. I may also note that we will be hard pushed to keep getting people vaccinated for the rest of time, as Covid is not going anywhere and variants will keep appearing. If we are in the age of pandemics, with Covid being our first go around the merry go round, Irish society and the world are going to be sorely disappointed and wholly unprepared for the future.