Ireland is most likely “experienced a twin peak of the Delta variant”, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said today.
“We are not where we hoped to be or expected to be for Ireland’s reopening on October 22”, he said.
Speaking at the Government announcement today, Mr Varadkar said the pandemic “isn’t over in Ireland”.
"We have to get through another winter before we can safely say it’s behind us.
"We're not where we hoped to be or expected to be for October 22. We are not past the Delta variant peak, we are most likely experiencing a twin peak,” he added.
Speaking as they revealed the easing of restrictions, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said all of the progress on easing restrictions remains in place and everything that has reopened will remain open.
"The progress we have made together is real, tangible and has to be protected," Taoiseach Micheal Martin said today.
"The changes to the plan made today ensure our next steps are safe and sustainable.
"The message is clear and can be summarised in three requests.
"If you're indoors, wear a mask.
"If you're running an event indoors, ask for vaccination and enforce rules.
"And crucially if you have not yet been vaccinated or had your second vaccination, please make arrangements to be fully vaccinated. It is safe, free and the best way out of the pandemic."
The Government announced today that nightclubs will be permitted to reopen using Digital Covid Certificates under the government’s new reopening plan – and limits on the number of people who can attend weddings and other religious ceremonies will be lifted.
This Friday will no longer mark the end of Covid rules amid fears over increasing case numbers and hospitalisations.
The number of people who can sit a table in a restaurant or pub will increase to ten from Friday under the Government’s new reopening plans.
Table service will still only be permitted and people will not be allowed sit at bars in pubs.
Customers will also have to show their vaccination certificate and proof of identity before entering a pub, restaurant or café.
Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland