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Friday 31 March 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# covid-19 committee
Roadmap to be published for 'easing or removal' of last Covid restrictions
The roadmap for an end of Covid-19 restrictions will be published by the end of August.

THE GOVERNMENT IS to publish a roadmap by the end of the month “for the easing or removal” of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions.

This was confirmed in a statement announcing the outcome of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 this morning. 

The statement said that the road out of these remaining restrictions lies through a combination of: maintaining the current level of restrictions during August, and continuing the pace of the vaccination programme – especially among younger people.

Testing and tracing, self-isolation, infection protection and control, and booster vaccinations are also part of this strategy.

It will also depend on the public health advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said previously that there would be no “Freedom Day”, as it was framed in the UK, but rather a steady unwinding of restrictions. 

Earlier today, new Fáilte Ireland guidelines on events and hospitality sectors was released, easing the severity of restrictions for live music and hospitality bookings.

Junior minister Malcolm Noonan admitted that the new pandemic guidelines for the hospitality industry were prompted by the controversial event at the Merrion Hotel.

Junior Minister Malcolm Noonan told Newstalk’s The Hard Shoulder: “Certainly the the event at the Merrion Hotel has probably sparked some clarification.

“There had certainly been perhaps some level of confusion around the level of complexity that was there around the guidelines previously.”

The rules, which were updated today, mean 200 people can now gather at an outdoor event with live music.

The change comes in the wake of the Katherine Zappone controversy, in which she organised a private party for 50 people last month, days before she was nominated as a UN special envoy for freedom of opinion and expression.

The event was held at the Merrion hotel in Dublin and was attended by 50 people, including friends and former Government colleagues. Among those in attendance was Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who said that he was only in attendance for 45 minutes.

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