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Fully vaccinated people from two households now allowed to meet indoors without masks or distancing

This measure takes effect immediately.

Image: Shutterstock/insta_photos

THE GOVERNMENT HAS issued guidance that people who are fully vaccinated are now able to meet with other fully vaccinated people without masks and physical distancing.

The Cabinet this afternoon signed off on measures to ease certain Covid-19 restrictions on a phased basis next month. 

Among these is a decision to allow fully vaccinated people from two different households to meet indoors. This measure takes effect immediately, the government said. 

Over 200,000 people have so far received two vaccine doses. It takes a couple of weeks after receiving the second vaccine dose before a person is fully protected. 

Advice for fully vaccinated people has been issued in other countries, such as the US, but no such advice was issued in Ireland before now. 

The government guidance said full protection is not in place for vaccinated people until it has been at least two weeks since they received a second vaccine dose. 

“If a second dose is still awaited, enhanced protected measures should continue to be applied,” a government statement on the new measures said. 

The deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said this evening that it’s hoped this guidance will “provide some additional relief” to fully vaccinated people. 

Dr Glynn said the visits are important for people who have coccooned for a large portion of the past year so they “can begin to see others who are similarly protected”. 

He said it is also a “sign to the rest of society” that vaccinations represent something that will benefit everyone over time. 

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar described it as a ‘rule of twos’ – two fully vaccinated people/two fully vaccinated households, two vaccines each and two weeks after the second vaccine dose. 

Speaking in an address to the nation this evening, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that “vaccines were always something we were looking forward to”. 

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“Now have a range of brilliantly effective and safe vaccines,” he said, adding that the vaccines have a “remarkable impact in terms of preventing serious illness and death”. 

He said vaccine supply will “dramatically increase” in April, May and June.

By the end of next week, one million vaccinations will have been administered. 

Close to three million vaccines will be administered by the end of May and nearly five million by early July, the Taoiseach said. 

He said “being safe” during the vaccine ramp-up will “allow greater freedom later in the summer”.  

“We are on the final stretch of this terrible journey,” he said. 

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