NPHET poised to recommend easing of restrictions
Restrictions could be eased as early as Friday.
NPHET is expected to recommend that restrictions introduced before Christmas be eased by later this month. The public health body is set to make recommendations to the government after it meets on Thursday (20th January).
While the specific details of any coming changes remain unclear, it is believed that the 8pm closing time for hospitality and entertainment will be changed to a later time of day. RTÉ has reported that the new closing time for bars, restaurants and cinemas could be changed to midnight by the end of this month, or early February.
Similarly, it is expected that entertainment venues will once again be allowed to operate at a greater capacity. It is further speculated that capacity at sports venues could soon return to the full complement, and attendance at weddings increased.
The new measures would follow recent changes to rules for close contacts, who no longer need to isolate as long as they are boosted, asymptomatic and returning negative antigen tests.
A total 11,139 new cases of Covid were confirmed in Ireland yesterday, including 4,810 cases that were recorded via the online antigen portal. 1,007 people are currently in hospital with Covid, 97 of which are in intensive care.