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Work-from-home advice officially ends today with restrictions also eased on group activities

There’s only one official date left in the government’s timeline for easing restrictions.

Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

AS IT STANDS, there is now only one official date left in the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions as further measures are relaxed from today. 

Today sees a number of measures eased, the most significant of which is lifting of the long-standing advice to work from home unless necessary to attend in person.

From today the official advice is that “attendance at work for specific business requirements may commence on a phased and staggered attendance basis”. 

As is clear from the guidance, the advice is not that everyone can or should return to workplaces.  

According to a protocol published by Department of Enterprise, the interpretation of the guidance will depend on the specific circumstances of each workplace and “should be informed by consultations with workers”.

It essentially means that when it comes to an employee’s place-of-work, it is for employees and employers to jointly confer on whether this is at home, in the workplace or a blend of the two. 

If employees are attending a workplace it is still required that public health guidance be followed, that means a requirement for physical distancing, the wearing of masks and appropriate ventilation.

The department is also advising that any return to workplaces must take “in a cautious and careful manner” and has suggested the use of “staggered arrangements” such as non-full-time attendance and flexible working hours as a way to reduce numbers. 

Other changes kicking in today

Some of the other major changes that take place today include the easing of restrictions for indoor and outdoor group activities.

These are different to organised indoor and outdoor events which are also returning on a phased basis but are being treated separately. 

Group activities include gatherings such as sports training or dance classes.

For outdoor group activities all restrictions are now lifted. 

Today’s easing means that indoor group activities can now take place for up to 100 people who are fully vaccinated or are considered immune through Covid recovery in the past six months. 

If not all patrons are fully vaccinated, group activities can still take place indoors in pods of up to six participants. 

Today’s changes mean that 22 October is the final date for the lifting of remaining restrictions before they are replaced with advice based on personal judgement and responsibility.

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Next month’s lifting of restrictions will include, for example, ending the need for physical distancing and limits on numbers at organised events.
 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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