Republic of Ireland relaxations on wedding, church service, nightclub and hospitality restrictions come into effect

The government has agreed that the remaining aspects of the hospitality, entertainment and night-time economy sector in the south of Ireland can reopen today (Friday, October 22.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 10:05 am

Meanwhile religious services and weddings can also now proceed without capacity limits but with all other protective measures remaining in place.

The government said the use of the EU Digital COVID Certificate (COVID-19 pass) is mandatory for indoor entertainment venues, but not outdoor events and fixed capacity limits for outdoor events are being removed.

Face masks can be removed while dancing in nightclubs - set to reopen for the first time tonight after being closed for over 18 months - as well as eating and drinking indoors, but a range of protective measures will still be in place. For indoor live music, drama, live entertainment and sporting events however the audience/spectators should be fully seated, the government has said.

Wedding capacity restrictions are now lifted.

An Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “This will allow us to move forward carefully with Ireland’s plan for the next phase of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 infection rates are once again increasing along with hospitalisation and ICU admissions. However, thanks to the hard work and exceptional support of the Irish people for the Vaccination Programme, we are in a position to continue our careful and gradual approach to reopening.

“We will need to continue to monitor the ongoing risk from the disease and, including through testing and contact tracing as appropriate.”

Protective measures include:

Wedding capacity restrictions are now lifted.

*Requirement for EU Digital COVID Certificate (COVID-19 pass) (vaccine or recovery certificate) for indoor hospitality and events,

*social distancing,

*face masks (can be removed for consumption of food or drinks as appropriate),

*table service only in hospitality settings (max of 10 adults per table, and max 15 including children),

*collection of contact tracing data,

*for indoor live music, drama, live entertainment and sporting events audience/spectators should be fully seated (standing permitted at your seat),

*specific sectoral guidance will be developed for nightclubs setting out appropriate protective measures. This will involve COVID-19 passes, contact tracing data collection and wearing of face masks except when eating, drinking and dancing.

*COVID-19 passes and fixed capacity limits will not apply for outdoor events. However, sectors should ensure appropriate protective measures are in place

return to workplaces will continue on a phased and cautious basis for specific business requirements

International travel:

*to continue pre-boarding obligations placed on travellers to provide evidence of a valid PCR test result, unless exempt (such as vaccinated or recovered or children under 12) and the obligation on carriers to check PCR test results and to deny boarding to passengers who do not have acceptable documentation to continue,

*those who do not have a PCR test on arrival (unless exempt through vaccination or recovery, for example) will be required to take a test within 36 hours of arrival and present evidence to An Garda Síochána,

*requirement for completed ePLF (Passenger Locator Form) to continue but that the obligations placed on passengers relating to provision of updated address and contact details be revoked

the mandatory hotel quarantine system is no longer considered necessary and will be wound down,

*mandatory home quarantine requirements to be removed.