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Ireland to tighten COVID-19 rules amid high case numbers


Ireland to tighten COVID-19 rules amid high case numbers

Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

New restrictions on business and gatherings will go into place in Ireland today.

The restrictions are the latest in a series of measures put in place to address a sharp rise in cases since late October, which the Omicron variant is likely to accelerate. Ireland had previously implemented travel restrictions like proof of a negative test result and new document checks for inbound travelers, and has reintroduced density restrictions for certain high-risk businesses, such as nightclubs, and household gatherings. 

Expect the restriction to remain in place until at least the start of January, if not longer; it’s likely that cases will remain at their current level or rise as the restrictions remain loose and the Omicron variant’s impact is expect to be significant, even with a high vaccination rate of 84%. The government has also recently green-lit booster vaccines for adults 50 and over. Depending on the Omicron variant’s severity and the effectiveness of boosters against it, tighter restrictions over the holidays are also likely. Finally, expect tension with some citizens of the U.K. and Northern Ireland who normally enjoy unrestricted travel to Ireland and are not — nor seem likely to be in the future — under similar restrictions.

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