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lifting lockdown

Weddings and sporting events can now go to full capacity as nightclubs make tentative return

Today was meant to see all restrictions lifted.

LAST UPDATE | 22 Oct 2021

ALL REMAINING COVID-19 restrictions were planned to be lifted today but a rise in cases an increased hospitalisations has meant that the handbrake has not been completely released. 

Instead, today sees some further restrictions lifted while others only being eased. 

Nightclubs and late bars, which were closed for 19 months, can now reopen subject to restrictions with guidelines published last night on how they can operate. 

Other long-standing restrictions are being lifted, however. 

Live venues can have a maximum of 1,500 people standing along with 100% seating.

Hospitality settings can have multiple table bookings with a maximum of 10 adults per table, as well as five people aged under 18.

People can order at the bar, but they must be socially distanced, and must then return to their table.

The guidelines also state physical distancing of at least one metre is considered “best practice” between tables.

Pre-booked, time limited slots of 105 minutes are no longer outlined as a requirement.


Restrictions on closing time for bars and clubs has been lifted also.

Capacity limits at religious ceremonies and weddings have now been removed completely but the government has said that “protective measures” should remain in place.

These measures include that wedding receptions must be a sit-down meal only, live entertainment is permitted at the reception and ceremony, dancing is permitted but guests should emphasise personal responsibility.

There is also be a major change to outdoor events with sports stadia now also returning to full capacity

Among the high-profile events now permitted to go ahead before a capacity crowd are Ireland’s World Cup qualifier with Portugal and the Irish rugby team’s Test against New Zealand, both of which will take place at the Aviva Stadium next month. 

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