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You shall pass Covid passes and 8pm curfew to go as Nphet gives green light to ease restrictions

All restrictions around the hospitality industry can be lifted as soon as possible and Covid certificates will no longer be necessary for entry to pubs and restaurants.

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Photo: Stock image

Photo: Stock image

Photo: Stock image

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has cleared a way for a major easing of almost all the last remaining Covid-19 restrictions in the coming days.

All restrictions around the hospitality industry can be lifted as soon as possible and Covid certificates will no longer be necessary for entry to pubs and restaurants.

Live venues and sports arenas will be able to return to full capacity and even nightclubs can reopen under the advice from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan’s team.

The only restrictions that will remain in place will be the requirement for masks on public transport and in the retail sector. Students will have to still wear masks in schools.

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Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Nphet also recommended a phased return to offices which will be decided on by the Government.

All other restrictions can be ditched whenever the Government decides over the coming days.

The Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 will meet tomorrow morning to discuss the advice from Nphet.

A full Cabinet meeting will be held later in the day where ministers will sign off on the plan to ease restrictions.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is expected to address the nation in a live televised address at around 6pm.

Mr Martin has said he plans to fast-track the re-opening of the country after emergency restrictions were imposed over Christmas due to the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach said the public can look forward to restrictions being lifted ahead of schedule as the variant is not as dangerous as first expected and thanks to the vaccine booster programme.

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“The original restrictions were there till the end of the month, we may now go before that,” he told RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland.

“I do want to allow Nphet to meet today but yes, I think we can look forward to an earlier lifting of restrictions than we might have anticipated,” he added.

Nphet has advised that masks and the close contact system should remain in place with an emphasis on advising people to isolate if they are symptomatic but has otherwise recommended the relaxation of almost all public health-measures, including the Covid pass system for hospitality and other amenities.

“We can keep each other safe now if we isolate if we've got symptoms and observe the basics,” a senior source said.

Nphet has, however, advised that measures in schools should remain in place until such time as children who are eligible have had the opportunity to take a full course of the vaccine.

Nphet has not provided any specific end date for when masks will no longer be required in crowded spaces or any changes to the current rules for close contacts.

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