An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that further Covid restrictions cannot be ruled out over the winter.
This comes as some restrictions were re-introduced in an attempt to curb the rapid spread of covid-19 in the community and to ease pressure on the already struggling health service.
Last night it was announced that from Thursday, restaurants, bars and nightclubs would have to close by 12 midnight, and people are again being advised to work from home unless absolutely necessary.
Micheál Martin called for a “collective effort to keep our economy and society open” and stressed that without Ireland’s vaccination programme, we would be no doubt be in a far worse situation.
The new restrictions include updated guidance on isolation of close contacts, the use of antigen tests and the wider use of covid certs.
Household contacts of a confirmed case who are fully vaccinated but not showing any symptoms will now have to restrict their movements until they have three negative antigen tests within five days.
The use of antigen tests is also being advised if a person has been in a high-risk environment, even if they are asymptomatic.
Perhaps the most unpopular new restriction is the curfew on hospitality, with all hospitality businesses having to close at 12 midnight, with customers expected to have vacated the premises by that time.
Covid certs will now be mandatory for cinemas and theaters, though some establishments are already enforcing this as it means allowing greater capacity.
Booster vaccines are now being recommended for everyone over the age of 50, and those aged 16-59 with underlying health conditions.
For updated and factual Public Health information and advice on the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, please visit hse.ie/coronavirus or call 1850 24 1850
For the latest information on the Covid-19 Vaccine Programme, please visit hse.ie/covid-19-vaccine