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Restrictions explainer: What does your Christmas and winter social life look like?

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As the Government has today announced its new reopening plan, changes have been made to the restrictions for the hospitality industry.

It was planned that all restrictions would be eased this Friday, October 22, however, since the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) said it’s too soon to declare the pandemic effectively over in Ireland this is not the case.

It is understood that the restrictions announced today will be in place until February 2022, so here’s what your Christmas time socialising will look like.

Will I be able to go to a pub with a group of friends?

Pubs and bars will remain open, however, Nphet is advising that existing restrictions on hospitality should stay in place until around spring 2022.

Only table service will be permitted and measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing will remain in place.

Maximum of 10 people can sit at a table.

The current 11.30pm curfew will be lifted, so you will be able to enjoy later nights out.

Will I be able to have a dance in a nightclub?

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said today that people will be able to dance in a nightclub.

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However, it is believed nightclubs will also have to follow strict protocols- including social distancing and mask-wearing.

Will work Christmas parties be going ahead?

With the current hospitality restrictions likely to be in place until early next year, big Christmas parties won’t be likely to go ahead.

Will antigen tests be needed to enter a pub or nightclub?

The use of antigen tests will be promoted on a voluntary basis for high-risk indoor activities.

However, it is not believed that they will be made mandatory to enter venues.

Will I need my Covid-19 vaccination certificate?

Yes, the current restriction on only allowing those vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend indoor venues will remain.

This will also be the case in nightclubs when they reopen.

Will I be able to book a table at a pub/restaurant/nightclub for more than six people?

Taoiseach Michéal Martin said today that table service with a maximum of 10 adults per table or 15 with children is allowed.


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