Pubs, clubs, hotels and churches are to reopen as politicians take charge of rolling back COVID restrictions.
At the same time, the ‘screw will be turned on vaccine draft-dodgers’ as ministers warn that 300,000 unvaccinated people cannot hold the country to ransom without any consequences.
The mood in Government is hardening in favour of a comprehensive reopening of the final sectors of the economy that currently operate under COVID-19 restrictions, while maintaining the requirement to produce certificates of vaccination.© Provided by Extra.ie Pubs, nightclubs, hotels and churches are to reopen as politicians take charge of rolling back COVID restrictions. Pic: Shutterstock
Meanwhile, a further 1,380 cases of COVID-19 were recorded here on Sunday.
This represents a fall from the 2,106 of the previous day.
As of Sunday morning, there were 459 COVID-positive patients in hospital, of whom 74 were in intensive care.© Provided by Extra.ie Opinion is hardening in favour of the reopening of nightclubs. Pic: Getty Images
The reopening will include weddings, funerals and religious ceremonies while opinion is hardening in favour of the reopening of nightclubs.
One minister said: ‘It won’t be the full Monty, but it will come close. There will be no going backwards, there will only be going forwards.
‘The restrictions on gatherings and weddings will be gone.
Restaurants will be returning to full opening. Ireland is taking down the last shutters.’© Provided by Extra.ie The reopening will include weddings, funerals and religious ceremonies. Pic: Shutterstock
Ministers were also increasingly assertive on the issue of nightclubs, noting: ‘It is not as though the virus just goes on shift after 11.30. We have to embrace logic here.’
They warned: ‘Credibility is an issue here. The public knows if we continue the ban on nightclubs we will have house parties instead.’
Senior Government sources said a lot of focus has been on nightclubs, but if the requirement for a certificate of vaccination remains it is likely that they will open with revellers being required to produce their certs.
‘We will wait for the NPHET advice, whatever they say on nightclubs we will see,’ said a Government source.© Provided by Extra.ie One minister confirmed the mood remained for reopening, noting: ‘At the moment, the restrictions on wedding numbers are to go.’ Pic: Shutterstock
‘It is not a huge worry for us. If clubbers have to produce vaccine certs at the door that is not a problem, I would think.’
Another minister confirmed the mood remained for reopening, noting: ‘At the moment, the restrictions on wedding numbers are to go.
‘There has been a huge focus on nightclubs and the hospitality sector, but we believe weddings and religious services are more important to society. So, we are more determined that the lifting of restrictions on numbers continues here.’
A final decision will not be made on this until NPHET reports to the Cabinet.© Provided by Extra.ie A minister said: ‘Restaurants will be returning to full opening. Ireland is taking down the last shutters’ Pic: Shutterstock
But in yet another shift in the balance of power between politicians and medics, politicians across the coalition stressed: ‘NPHET are advising the Government. The politicians will make the decisions.’
One senior Government source noted: ‘The Government will guide NPHET on decisions relating to the opening up of society.’
NPHET is due to meet today to discuss the rapidly increasing COVID numbers – the daily figure has been hovering around 2,000 in recent weeks.
The Cabinet will then meet on Tuesday to make final decisions in advance of Friday’s proposed lifting of restrictions.© Provided by Extra.ie A Government source warned the growing ‘laissez faire’ attitude by pubs and restaurants when it comes to implementing the pass will have to end. Pic: Shutterstock
It is believed that when it comes to cafes, pubs and clubs the tradeoff for greater liberalisation will consist of the maintenance of COVID passes for several months.
‘There is a very strong case to keep them for quite a while longer,’ a Government source said.
However, they warned the growing ‘laissez faire’ attitude by pubs and restaurants when it comes to implementing the pass will have to end.
The source warned: ‘The price of full reopening will be a tougher inspections regime. Sectors as well as individuals have to take responsibility.’
The Government was also said to be increasingly aware that when it comes to reopening: ‘Maintaining the national solidarity, the sense of community is still important. Society has moved on and doesn’t want to be stopped by anyone’.
One minister said: ‘The people have moved on. It is filed now as being similar to the flu. It is not the plague anymore.’
The retention of the COVID pass is also expected to play a key role in reducing the numbers of those who are refusing to be vaccinated.
An Ireland Thinks poll on Sunday revealed that more than three quarters of the public support curbs for the unvaccinated.© Provided by Extra.ie HSE chief Paul Reid said on Sunday: ‘Those who are not being vaccinated are having a disproportionate impact on our health services.’ Pic: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Political anger is growing on the role of the unvaccinated in prolonging the crisis, with one minister warning: ‘300,000 people are holding the country to ransom, and it has to be confronted.’
HSE chief Paul Reid said on Sunday: ‘Those who are not being vaccinated are having a disproportionate impact on our health services.’
Compulsory vaccination has been ruled out, but another minister said: ‘Outdoor dining is not so nice in December as it is in August. Call it an exercise in soft power rather than compulsion.’
Commenting on the 300,000 unvaccinated people, another minister said: ‘This is not a case of civil liberties. This is not freedom of speech or freedom of religion. It is the equivalent of draft-dodging.© Provided by Extra.ie HSE chief Paul Reid. Pic: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
‘The precedent is set by banning smoking indoors on health grounds. You can harm yourself, but the bar is set when it comes to harming anyone else.’
Opinion is also hardening politically on the need for an extensive vaccine booster campaign which Government sources said they expected to be rolled out for all over-65s in the coming weeks, alongside people working in the health service and nursing homes.
The Government will have to wait on advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Council (NIAC) before proceeding on this, and it is not expected to report before a final Cabinet decision on restrictions next Tuesday.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-ie/news/newsireland/pubs-and-clubs-set-to-reopen-but-covid-certs-likely-to-remain-for-months/ar-AAPE5SI2426