Freedom Day – We Need to Smile Again Says Taoiseach As Covid-19 Restrictions Removed

Following the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and the cabinet meeting on Friday 21 January, all the main Covid-19 restrictions on Irish life have been lifted. 

Freedom Friday, We Need To Smile Again

In his speech the, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the lifting of almost all Covid-19 restrictions. He told the Irish people they responded when hit by an unprecedented health emergency saying: “you did what you were asked to do”. 

The Taoiseach spoke about how there has been grief at the loss of life but said: “your collective efforts have saved thousands of lives”, and continued by saying that we need to smile again.

Restrictions – No Longer In Place

The main restrictions that will be lifted from 6.00am Saturday 22 January include: 

.  Hospitality limits – no longer in place 

. Pubs, clubs and restaurants restrictions – no longer in place 

. Outdoor and indoor venues for sports and entertainment – limit on numbers, no longer in place 

.  Houshold meetings – no longer in place 

.  Covid pass use – no longer required, except for international travel 

.  Employment – a phased return to work will begin from Monday, 24 January. 

 Mask wearing will continue to be required in all setting where it is currently regulated for until February 28t. With protective measures in schools and childcare facilities remaining until then. 

In a statement Fáilte Ireland welcomed this evening’s announcement by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin.   

Responding to this evening’s Government announcement, Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said: 

Digital Covid Certificate – no longer required except for international travel

“The easing of restrictions announced by the Government this evening is a hugely positive step forward and provides much needed hope that in 2022 we will see the beginning of the recovery for our tourism sector. 

Our priority at Fáilte Ireland throughout this pandemic has been on supporting the survival of tourism businesses and driving the recovery of the sector. Our focus remains steadfast and we have extensive work plans this year to help rebuild tourism and deliver a strong recovery in partnership with the tourism industry and Government.” 

The Irish Hotels Federation Welcome Announcement

 The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has welcomed the announcement by the Government today on the removal of COVID-19 restrictions on hospitality. IHF Chief Executive Tim Fenn described the move as a “new dawn” for the tourism and hospitality industry and the 270,000 livelihoods it supports. Acknowledging the Government’s careful stewardship of the country through the pandemic, he welcomed the assurances given that businesses will not face a ‘cliff-edge’ on financial supports, saying this gave much needed certainty to businesses trying to plan their recovery. 

Joan Scales
Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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