Ireland removes most of its remaining COVID restrictions


People walk in central Dublin, Ireland January 22, 2022. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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DUBLIN, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Ireland announced on Tuesday it would drop most of its remaining pandemic-related restrictions from Feb. 28 as a wave of infections fueled by Omicron ebbs.

The country has been one of the most cautious in the European Union about COVID-k19 risks, putting in place some of the oldest restrictions on travel and hospitality.

People will no longer be legally required to wear masks, physical distancing measures in schools will end and the national testing and tracing program will be reduced.

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Government advice that masks should be worn on public transport and in healthcare settings will remain.

Like most other European countries, Ireland saw an increase in cases last month due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant. The number of daily infections detected remains high, but is beginning to decline.

“The current epidemiological profile of COVID-19 in Ireland is broadly stable,” the government said in a press release, and “although the burden on hospitals remains significant, it is relatively stable.”

The process of removing COVID-19 restrictions began in late January when the government decided that bars and restaurants no longer needed to close at 8 p.m., or ask customers for proof of vaccinations. L1N2U11NL

Indoor and outdoor venues have also returned to full capacity.

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Reporting by Graham Fahy Editing by Bernadette Baum

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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