Q&A: What will be allowed under the new Covid-19 reopening plan?

Measures will mark most significant change to how pandemic is managed since March 2020

 

On Tuesday, the Government agreed a new plan - Reframing the Challenge, Continuing Our Recovery and Reconnecting - that will mean the removal of the vast majority of remaining Covid-19 restrictions in September and October.

The measures announced are the most significant changes to how the pandemic is managed since March of last year, shifting responsibility to people and personal judgment rather than exhaustively regulating social interactions.

The key dates and changes are as follows (some are subject to “protective factors” and “sectoral guidance”):

From September 1st:

- Full return of public transport at 100 per cent capacity.

From September 6th:

- Organised indoor events and mass gatherings limited to 60 per cent of venue capacity, where all those attending are either fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within the previous six months. It also includes accompanied minors under 18.

- In cases where immunity status is mixed, there is no change to current restrictions during September. Capacity limits will not be eased for large privately organised social events.

- Audiences for indoor live music, entertainment and sporting events will be fully seated.

- Cinemas and theatres will have 60 per cent capacity limits where everyone is vaccinated or recovered, as well as accompanied minors. Otherwise no change to current restrictions during September.

- There is no change to wedding capacity of 100 guests during September but live music will be permitted.

- Organised outdoor events and mass gatherings can have 75 per cent capacity with full vaccination or recovery. Otherwise the capacity will be 50 per cent and have protective measures including mask wearing, social distancing.

- Religious ceremonies can proceed at 50 per cent venue capacity, regardless of immunity status of attendees.

- Coach tours can recommence at 50 per cent capacity with protective measures.

From 20 September:

- Indoor group activities including sports, arts and culture, and dance classes can take place with capacity limits of 100 people where everyone is fully vaccinated or recovered within the previous six months, or accompanied minors. Otherwise it will be limited to pods of six, the number of which will depend on the size of venue and social distancing.

- Restrictions on outdoor group activities will be removed.

- People can return to workplaces for “specific business requirements” although on a “phased and staggered basis”.

From October:

October will see the majority of restrictions lifted and replaced by “guidance and advice”.

Specifically from October 22nd, the following will be brought to an end:

- Requirements for physical distancing;

- Outdoor mask wearing;

- Private indoor mask wearing;

- Limits on numbers attending indoor and outdoor events;

- Restrictions on religious and civil ceremonies;

- Limits on numbers that can meet in private homes and gardens;

- The production of vaccine certification and testing in order to participate in events, with the exception of international travel;

- Restrictions on so-called “high risk activities” including nightclubs.

Self-isolation when people have Covid-19 symptoms as well as mask wearing in healthcare settings, indoor retail and public transport will still be required on an ongoing basis.