Restrictions lifted but mask wearing in salons remains

Majority of restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Omnicrom variant have been lifted by the government, although the wearing of face coverings in salons and close contact service will be remain in place; this is set to be reviewed on 28th February.

However, the government has reiterated that the pandemic is not yet over and there is an ongoing need to closely monitor of the virus. Everyone should continue to follow the government's guidance in relation to symptoms, testing and isolation where necessary.

The lifting of public health measures includes guidance on household visiting, early closing of hospitality and events, restriction on capacity for indoor events including weddings, restrictions on nightclubs and the need for Digital COVID Certificates. The formal requirement for 2-metre physical distancing in general has also been removed.

To support businesses affected by the latest COVID-19 restrictions introduced in December 2021, the government has also announced that the reduced levels of Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), which were due to commence on 1st February, will now be delayed by until 1st March 2022.

In addition to assist businesses that are reopening, a payment of one week's support is to be paid to recipients of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) recipients to assist reopening.

See all support available for businesses affected.

The latest guidance can be found here, as well as information on assessing your own risk.

The lifting of restrictions comes after the government's announcement of a one-off public Bank Holiday on Friday 18th March 2022, creating a four-day weekend to coincide with St Patrick's Day, to recognise the efforts of the public, volunteers and workers during the pandemic, whilst remembering more than 9,000 people who have lost their lives. 

A new permanent public Bank Holiday will take place from 2023, on the first Monday of every February, in celebration of Imbolc/St Brigid's Day.