At a glance: Here are the updated Covid-19 restrictions

The Taoiseach has announced fresh restrictions as Covid-19 infection rates surge across the country.

Micheál Martin said without the success of the vaccination programme, there is “no doubt Ireland would be in full-scale lockdown”.

However, he said new curbs have been introduced in a “collective effort to keep our economy and society open” and keep people healthy and safe.

Here are the latest Covid-19 decisions:

Close contacts

Advice that comes into immediate effect is that household close contacts who are fully vaccinated and showing no symptoms should now restrict their movements until they have three negative antigen test results within five days.

Healthcare workers will be subject to further guidance on derogations from this directive by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Antigen tests can be done at any time of the day. Complete your second test two days after the first, and your third test two days after your second.

Antigen tests

The Government also advises people to take regular antigen tests if they are asymptomatic and have visited riskier environments.

People are urged to limit their activities in indoor and crowded environments, where distancing is difficult.

They should “hold off on visiting vulnerable people after undertaking these activities”.

Hospitality

Closing times for all licensed premises will move to midnight on Thursday, 18 November. All customers must have vacated the premises by that time.

This will apply to restaurants, bars and nightclubs but will not apply to guests staying in hotels.

Wedding guests staying at the venue will be able to remain on the premises after midnight – those who are not hotel residents must leave.

Working from home

Everyone should revert to working from home unless it is necessary to attend the workplace in person.

Engagement has taken place between Government, employers and trade unions on updating guidance for employees working from home.

Covid-19 certs extended

Statutory requirement for Covid-19 passes (based on vaccination or recovery) will be extended to cinemas and theatres – which many are already applying to allow for greater capacity.

Work is “continuing with agencies and inspectorates to strengthen compliance and inspection activities”.

Education

There is no change in current arrangements for student attendance and on-site activities in school, further and higher education institutions in line with Covid response plans for those sectors.

There is no mention of Third Level institutions returning to fully remote learning in the new guidelines.

Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan, said it was “critical” for students that in-person learning at college “can and should stay”.

Boosters

Booster vaccinations are currently being administered to those aged over 60 in the community and residents in long-term care facilities, the immunocompromised, and healthcare workers.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee has recommended extending the programme to those aged 16-59 with underlying conditions and to those aged 50 to 59.

The Health Service Executive is already planning to expand capacity further through both the pharmacy sector and vaccination centres over the coming weeks, and will now plan a further ramp-up of the delivery programme in the coming days in line.

Article Source – At a glance: Here are the updated Covid-19 restrictions – RTE – Moira Hannon

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