Government Agrees to Lift Most COVID Restrictions From Monday

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Following a meeting of the Cabinet this morning, the government has announced that most of the remaining COVID restrictions are to be lifted next Monday, February 28th.

The government is following the advice of NPHET and will now lift the necessity for masks in retail, hospitality and other indoor settings.

Contrary to NPHET's advice however, the government will still advise commuters to don their masks on public transport, though doing so will no longer be mandatory.

As expected, health settings will continue to require mask wearing.

The current protective measures in schools, which include staggered breaks, social distancing and learning pods, will also be removed.

"Of course there are people who may wish to continue to wear a mask and they are free to do so (and) people who have underlying conditions may also wish to choose to do so," said Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

The government released a statement this afternoon in which it outlined current guidance to isolate if you are diagnosed with COVID or are displaying symptoms; get vaccinated, including a booster; and to manage personal risks and be cautious of those around you who may be vulnerable.

"Following a recent moderate increase – particularly amongst young adults – the number of infections detected per day remains high but has stabilised, and may be starting to decrease," a government spokesperson said. "While the burden on our hospitals remains significant, it is relatively stable."

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said removing the restrictions "is the appropriate thing to do at this time."

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