The return to indoor activities, including indoor dining will be pushed back from its scheduled July date, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed.
Indoor dining at all bars and restaurants had been set to resume from July 5, but that prospect had been called into doubt in recent days.
NPHET has expressed concerns about the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant, which is already dominant in the UK, and has begun taking hold in the north west of Ireland.
Today, the Taoiseach said that NPHET’s clear advice is that indoor dining should be restricted to people who have been vaccinated, or have recovered from COVID-19.
The government will be working on a plan to implements this in the coming weeks, Micheál Martin said, but did not give a date for when that plan will be ready.
The Irish Times reported this morning that the Cabinet had decided that these plans should be drawn up by July 19, with no clear date for when indoor dining would resume.
“The simple truth is that we are in a race between variants and vaccines,” the Taoiseach said, adding that they want to ensure that vaccines win.
The Taoiseach said that he knows that this delay will be frustrating to many, but added that the hospitality sector knows “better than anyone” the harm that it would do to their businesses if the progress made in the pandemic is undermined.
The number of people allowed to attend outdoor events will also be allowed to increase, and the numbers allowed to attend weddings