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04/08/2021

BREAKING: Taoiseach confirms delay to indoor reopening amid Delta variant fears

BREAKING: Taoiseach confirms delay to indoor reopening amid Delta variant fears

Micheál Martin

The hospitality industry across Ireland is facing an undefined delay as to when indoor re-openings of pubs and restaurants can happen in the wake Goverment's changes to the Covid-19 exit plan due to the Delta variant.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed there will be no indoor re-opening as was originally anticipated next Monday, July 5. No new date has been set. Work is just starting Covid-19 vaccination certificate plan which could allow a limited reopening.

Mr Martin said Ireland is “in a race between the variant and vaccine ... and we want to do everything we can to ensure the vaccines win".

The Fianna Fáil leader said that over the course of the last number of weeks concern has been growing over the prevalence, nature, and risk associated with the Delta variant of Covid-19.

He said it is clearly more transmissible - 55% more than the last variant, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention.

He said that tremendous progress is being made in the vaccine programme and careful, staged reopening of society with people's co-operation is working.

Mr Martin said that the reopening of indoor hospitality will be limited to those fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 infection.

There was better news from Mr Martin in terms of other organised events.

As planned, numbers at these can increase to 200 or 500 for stadiums or venues with a capacity of over 5,000.

Attendance at wedding receptions can go up to 50 guests as an exception.

But indoor activities will not proceed as planned, pending the implementation of a system to verify vaccination or immunity.

Government said it will devise an implementation plan by July 19.

There will be no limit on the number of people who can visit together if they are all fully protected by vaccination or have recovered from Covid-19 infection in the previous nine months.

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