< /p> UPDATE DAY
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin announced on Friday the lifting the day after of most of the health restrictions still in place in the country to fight against the coronavirus, in view of the improvement in the health situation.
According to the leader, a recent report “confirms that the infection rate is decreasing and that all the indicators on which we base our decisions are pointing in the right direction”. “We have weathered the storm (of the Omicron variant),” he congratulated himself, addressing the Irish: it is therefore “no longer justified to keep most of our restrictions in place”.
From 6 a.m. GMT on Saturday, bars and restaurants will therefore no longer be forced to close their doors at midnight and the health pass will no longer be required, as for nightclubs and other places of leisure. .
Restrictions on home visits – which have so far been advised to be limited to a maximum of four households – will be lifted and employees will be able to begin “a gradual return to their physical workplace” from Monday.
However, “no changes will be made to the measures currently in place on international travel”, warned the Prime Minister, and wearing a mask will remain compulsory in transport and shops at least until February 28, date on which these measures will be reviewed.
“I don't know if I've ever looked forward to an event as impatiently as this one,” rejoiced Mr. Martin. “Humans are social beings, and we Irish are even more so than most people!” he joked.
The leader warned that these “changes are likely to lead temporary from short-term infections”. “But the impact of this increase will be limited by the extent of vaccination in the population,” he tempered.
Country of 5 million inhabitants where nearly 90% of over-12s are fully vaccinated, Ireland recorded 6,597 positive cases on Friday, according to the latest official figures. The epidemic killed more than 6,000 people there.