Ireland’s Taoiseach Announces 8pm Closings for Pubs, Bars and All Hospitality Venues:
Update on Availability of Covid-Prevention Drugs in Northern Ireland:
IRELAND IMPOSES 8PM CURFEWS ON ALL HOSPITALITY VENUES IN AN EFFORT TO CONTAIN COVID OUTBREAKS
DECEMBER 17, 2021:
Ireland, home to one of Europe’s highest vaccination rates, imposes curfew on pubs and clubs as cases rise
By Niamh Kennedy and Rob Picheta, CNN
(CNN)Ireland will impose a midnight curfew on bars, restaurants and nightclubs from Thursday, its prime minister Micheál Martin has announced, as the country tackles a fresh wave of Covid-19 cases.Martin said the country’s rise in infections is “a cause of deep concern” as he unveiled a swathe of new measures aimed at “reducing socialization across the board.”They include a return to guidance that people work from home and an expansion of where a vaccination pass is required — people must now show them at theaters and cinemas.
Ireland has one of Europe’s highest vaccination rates, with 89.1% of people over the age of 12 having been immunized, but its booster program has only been available to those over 60, healthcare workers and at-risk people. The government is making plans to offer third doses to those in the 50s and people with underlying health conditions, Martin said.
- The prime minister called for a “collective effort” to keep Ireland’s economy open, and pointed towards the “picture emerging across Europe,” where cases are generally rising and causing governments to bring in fresh restrictions.
- Ireland recorded its highest case number since January last Friday, when 5,483 new infections were reported. Deaths remain at a far lower rate than during its January peak, but are inching upwards.
Europe turns the screws on the unvaccinated as Covid-19 cases climbBut the new rules were met with disappointment across the hospitality sector — particularly among the owners of nightclubs, which were only allowed to re-open last month after being shut since March 2020.The Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said in a statement posted that the move was “a very disappointing measure for the many late-night pubs and nightclubs many of whom will be forced to shut just three weeks after reopening.”CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), Adrian Cummins, said that given the country’s high vaccination rate, the “reintroduction of restrictions on hospitality shows that living with COVID is not viable for our country.”The measures which were agreed by the Cabinet earlier on Tuesday represent “an appropriate response to the situation we find ourselves in, ” Martin said. “And I know that no one wants to go back to a world of widespread restrictions,” he added.
- Ireland now joins a rising number of EU countries to re-introduce restrictions ahead of the winter. Covid-19 infections are rising across the bloc, particularly in central and eastern parts of the region.On Monday, a lockdown for unvaccinated people came into effect in Austria, while Germany’s new government is pushing to introduce harsh new measures on people who have not been inoculated.
COVID-19 SPIKE IN IRELAND. . . CONFUSION AS TO WHY! MAYBE IT’S DUE TO EASING TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS TO IRELAND!
Stephen McNeice. . . From Ireland’s Newstalk.com
10.56 14 OCT 2021
Professor Luke O’Neill says it’s “still an unknown” why COVID-19 case numbers are climbing in Ireland.
The leading immunologist says society does need to fully reopen at some stage, but he “doesn’t envy” the decision Cabinet has to make next week.
Under the reopening plan announced in August, almost all remaining COVID-19 restrictions are due to be lifted next Friday, October 22nd.
However, there has been growing concern among health officials about the rising COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalisations.
The five-day moving average is now more than 1,600 – an increase of over 500 compared to this time last week.
Both the Taoiseach and Tánaiste have now warned they can’t guarantee all restrictions will be lifted, saying it will depend on the advice from NPHET next week.
Professor O’Neill – Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin – told The Pat Kenny Show said there does appear to be growing concerns among officials.
Luke O’Neill On COVID-19 Spike: ‘We Don’t Know Why Cases Are Climbing All The Time.
He said: “The trend is not great, they say. We’re waiting for this final analysis… we haven’t seen some of those numbers. But it does look as though cases are climbing.
“The question is why this is happening? We’re number seven in Europe now in terms of the number of cases – that’s not a great place to be. We’ve got a lot more cases than, say, Denmark.
“The truth is we don’t know why these cases are climbing all the time – that’s still an unknown.”
He said COVID-19 cases are not overwhelming hospitals, but there are some potential factors behind the recent spike.
He noted around 300,000 people in the over-12 age group remain unvaccinated, while a “big” reason is people not staying home when they have symptoms of the virus.
The immunologist said: “If you have symptoms, don’t go into work, don’t go into school: then it won’t spread so much.”
However, he said there is cause for optimism, including no further major variant of concern having yet popped up – saying “that gives us a bit of hope that we mightn’t see an even worse one”.
He said the booster campaign for older people and care home residents is also very important, as that should help counter any possible waning of immunity in those groups.
With case numbers still rising for now, however, Professor O’Neill believes a tough decision lies ahead for ministers next week.
He said: “We do need to open up at some point, but I don’t envy the Cabinet decision next week.
“If the numbers are really bad, what are they going to do? It’s a tricky question.”