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Senior ministers to sign off on roadmap for reopening this afternoon

The Cabinet subcommittee on COVID meets again this afternoon to discuss the roadmap for reopening...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06.31 30 Aug 2021


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Senior ministers to sign off o...

Senior ministers to sign off on roadmap for reopening this afternoon

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06.31 30 Aug 2021


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The Cabinet subcommittee on COVID meets again this afternoon to discuss the roadmap for reopening the country.

The roadmap is due to be published after a full meeting of Cabinet tomorrow with September set to be a “significant month” for changes to the restrictions.

Public transport is expected to return to full capacity as early as this week, while the limit of 500 people at outdoor events is expected to be eased.

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Workers are expected to begin returning to offices later this month, while confirmations and communions also due to return.

Meanwhile the Arts Minister is pushing for live music to return as soon as possible with audience of more than 50 permitted in theatres within the first two weeks of December.

Vaccine passes may be used to facilitate full capacity indoor and outdoor events.

The chairman of the Irish Medical Organisation's GP committee Dr Deni McCauley told Newstalk that Ireland’s high vaccine rate should allow restrictions to be eased safely.

“I think the landmarks we are waiting on really are how the numbers react to the reopening of schools,” he said.

“But I do think we have to similarly say we have a level of vaccination where we should be able to open society more at this stage, so it is just a matter of planning what the best way is to do that.”

He urged Government not to reopen indoor dining for the unvaccinated – insisting that the high case numbers in the North are linked to the fully opened hospitality there.

“One of the important tenets and the important foundations of all this is the decision previously by the CMO that everyone who is socialising inside should be vaccinated,” he said.

“I think if that is the foundation of any future plans, I think they will work, and I think any deviation from that pan will not work.”

The plan is also expected to see the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) disbanded from the middle of October, alongside the high-level taskforce on vaccination.

Experts will still be on hand to advise the Government even after the bodies are disbanded.

The CMO will return to his normal duties at the Department of Health.

It comes as 1,706 new cases were reported in Ireland yesterday.

There were 347 coronavirus patients in hospital and 60 in intensive care.


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