Taoiseach Micheal Martin announced on Tuesday that Ireland would proceed with an easing of restrictions, but with mask-wearing and social distancing still in place.
Health officials have expressed concern in recent days about a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, as well as growing pressure on the country’s health system.
With warnings that Ireland will need to remain cautious throughout the winter, Mr Martin said: “The progress we have made together is real and it has to be protected.”
“The changes we have made gives us the space to make sure that the next steps we take is safe.”
It is expected that many of the current “protective measures” will remain in place until February 2022.
From Friday October 22:
– Nightclubs will be permitted to re-open, but only with “protective measures” in place. These will include Covid-19 certificates, contact tracing, and face masks except when eating, drinking and dancing.
– Covid-19 certificates will still be required for indoor hospitality and indoor events.
– Table service only will continue in pubs and restaurants, as will the use of contact tracing data. Under the rules, there must be a maximum of 10 adults per table and maximum 15 including children.
– At indoor gigs, theatres and any indoor entertainment events, spectators will be asked to remain seated.
– Covid-19 certificates will not be required for outdoor events, with limits on the size of outdoor events lifted. This means full capacity can return to sporting events.
– Religious services and weddings can take place without any limits on attendees.
– The return to the workplace will continue on a “phased and cautious basis”.
Mr Martin took the opportunity on Tuesday to urge anyone not already vaccinated to get the jab.
“All of the progress made to date remains in place. In line with Nphet advice, those sectors due to open on Friday may only do so on the basis that all customers produce evidence of a Covid pass,” he said.
“To stay open, we need everyone to enforce the rule. Table service only will remain in place with a maximum of 10 adults.”