Irish Prime Minister MicheÃ¡l Martin has announced a toughening of the country’s measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
According to BBC News, some of the measures implemented include a reduction in capacity for indoor events such as concerts, as well as the total closure of nightclubs.
BBC Policy Editor Lewis Goodall tweeted that these new rules will start from Tuesday, December 7 and will remain in place until Sunday, December 9.
He comes amid advice offered to Martin by Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan, alongside the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). During his press conference, Martin told reporters that â[the] the risks associated with entering the Christmas period without certain restrictions to reduce the volume of personal contact are just too high â.
Nightclubs – which only reopened on October 22 after the initial lockdown – will be forced to shut down entirely, with no ability for them to operate under restricted circumstances. Indoor venues – which include live music hotspots, pubs and gyms – will have to adopt capacity limits set at a maximum of 50%.
Policymakers and politicians will be watching closely the Irish public’s reaction to the measures, both in terms of opinion polls (we are in new territory with significant restrictions imposed with vaccines) and membership.
– Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) December 3, 2021
These venues will also be subject to a series of rules reverting from previous crackdowns, such as banning punters from queuing to order food or drink, a limit of six adults per table, and a warrant on wearing masks. when customers are away from their tables.
Martin pledged that sites severely affected by the new restrictions would be eligible for financial support, acknowledging that several industries “will be bitterly disappointed by this news” and “many of them will fear for their livelihoods.”
“I want to reassure them that just as we have done since the start of the pandemic, the government will support them and ensure that they have the necessary financial supports to weather this latest storm and remain intact until we got out of it, “he said (according to the BBC).
Last month, Van Morrison was sued by Robin Swann, Northern Ireland’s Minister of Health, for comments regarding COVID-19 the singer made earlier this year.