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News & Events

Statement from the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD on easing of restrictions and phased return to work

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar today (Sunday, 19 September) wished employers and workers the best for tomorrow as Ireland enters a new phase of easing restrictions.

From tomorrow (Monday, 20 September), thousands of businesses including indoor dance, yoga, pilates studios, art classes and indoor sports and fitness classes, will all be permitted for up to 100 people, provided all participants are immune. A requirement to maintain pods of six participants will be in place where those attending have mixed immunity status. All restrictions on outdoor group activities will also be removed meaning no upper limit on numbers.

The Tánaiste said:

“Tomorrow is a big day for thousands of businesses who are opening their doors for the first time since the pandemic and thousands of more people getting back to work. It has been an incredibly challenging 18 months for those running indoor activities. Business owners have had to make huge changes to their business, from moving outdoors to moving online. Your efforts to date have doubtless saved lives.

“Now, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme, we are in a position to ease restrictions further and allow these indoor activities take place, including indoor exercise classes, bands, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, chess, bridge and other indoor activities. All restrictions on outdoor group activities will  be removed.

“We are now one of the best in the world for vaccine uptake, 90% of people over 16 are now double-jabbed. It’s a testament to the Irish people for trusting the science, trusting our health care professionals and protecting each other.  I wish all those returning to work tomorrow for the first time, the very best and thank you for all you have done over the pandemic.”

From tomorrow, the phased return to the office will also begin.

The Tánaiste said:

“From tomorrow, the public health advice no longer requires working from home and a phased return to the office begins. I know many are looking forward to returning to the office, to see their colleagues who they’ve only seen through a screen for the past 18 months, in person. For those who were recruited during the pandemic, it will be the first time ever they’ve been in the office or met their co-workers – even after over a year working together in some cases.

“The pandemic has taught us what’s possible in terms of remote working. It transformed the world of work overnight. I hope we can learn something from what worked for workers and employers during that time and incorporate it post-Covid. We really want to see remote working become a permanent fixture of Irish working life. I hope employers are speaking to their staff to figure out what works best for them and the business as this phased return begins.”