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roadmap latest All remaining restrictions to be lifted by October 22 under reopening plans put to Cabinet

The Government will publish the final roadmap tomorrow after a full Cabinet meeting


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All remaining Covid-19 restrictions will be removed by October 22, it has emerged.

However mask wearing will remain in certain settings.

It is expected that workers will be able to return to the office on a phased basis from September 20.

The phased further reopening of society will begin next Monday under plans to be considered by Cabinet ministers tomorrow.

Ministers in the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 are meeting this evening to consider dates for the final reopening of the country.

Senior sources have said that September 6 will see the easing of restrictions on larger events, indoor seated events and outdoor events for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Live music at weddings is set to resume on September 6 under plans being considered by Government ministers tomorrow, Independent.ie understands.

Trade exhibitions, increased attendances at outdoor sports events and Communions and Confirmations will return on the same date.

Bingo halls are also set to be allowed to reopen next month, meanwhile September 20 will also see the return of bowling and indoor sports.

The plans going to Cabinet tomorrow also state that the rest of the restrictions will be removed from mid-October to October 22.

A high-level source said that this will mean moving to a "model of personal responsibility" as opposed to strict restrictions.

However the dates for reopening come with a "caveat" that the epidemiological situation remains "manageable", the source said.

Ministers are this evening also considering plans to increase spectators at sporting events next month by up to 50pc of stadium capacity.

The reopening roadmap, which will be announced by Government tomorrow, will see two key dates - September 6 and September 20, which will see nearly all restrictions being lifted.

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The remaining measures will be lifted in October.

Earlier, Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said further Covid-19 restrictions will be eased from next week.

As well as public transport returning to full capacity this week, Communions, Confirmations and indoor activities for children will see an “early return”.

Minister McGrath was speaking heading into the meeting of the Cabinet subcommittee on Covid-19, where ministers will this afternoon decide on dates for the lifting of the remaining restrictions.

The crunch talks will then see final reopening dates be approved by a full Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

This will include the phased return of increased crowds at live events, matches, theatres, religious services and when employees are set to return to the office.

“I would be confident that from next week we can start making progress in practical terms in unwinding some of the restrictions that are there and that will be done over a number of weeks into October,” said Minister McGrath.

He said that this will include the return of public transport to 100pc capacity, which will happen this Wednesday.

“I think that we are likely to see an early return of Communions and Confirmations as well and other such events,” he said.

“We will also see what we can do in terms of certain indoor activities which have been shut down for so long now. A lot of children who don’t play field sports have missed out on dance classes, gymnastics and other activities indoor, we would like to see them get back as early as possible.

“I think you will see some early moves which will hopefully give people a sense of the direction of travel.”

The Government will publish the final roadmap tomorrow after a full Cabinet meeting.

“I think what you will see is a move away in a gradual sense from a rules and regulations based system, one that does place an emphasis on personal responsibility and on living alongside this virus,” Mr McGrath said.

He added that income supports such as the Wage Subsidy Scheme will be in place for “quite some time”.

However, he said that certain restrictions will remain in place, such as mask wearing, which will “not be going away any time soon”.

Meanwhile, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said that by October, “most of the restrictions will start to ease”.

He also indicated that the 11.30pm closing time for hospitality sector may be scrapped with a “staggered” closing time to avoid traffic jams.

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