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20 Jan 2022

What are the Covid-19 restrictions for Christmas?

New study shows rapid spread of Delta variant in vaccinated people

Covid-19 Delta surge has first return of restrictions

From 5 December 2021
Travelling to Ireland
Note: Changes to testing rules for travelling to Ireland that were due to happen on 3 December 2021 have been delayed until Sunday 5 December 2021.

From Sunday 5 December 2021, all arrivals aged 12 and over who are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 must provide either of the following:

A negative or not detected antigen test (taken within 48 hours before arrival)
A negative or not detected RT-PCR test (taken within 72 hours before arrival)
The test result must be certified and not self-administered.

If you are not fully vaccinated or recovered, you must show a negative or not detected RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before your arrival. Read more about travelling to Ireland.

From 7 December 2021
Household visits
Household visits are limited to three households in total (not including the household that is being visited).

Pubs and restaurants
A maximum of 6 people over 18 are allowed per table
Multiple table bookings are not allowed
Table service only
One metre distance must be kept between tables
You must wear a face covering when not at your table
Organised events
Attendance is limited to 50% of a venue’s total capacity. This includes indoor sporting events, concerts, cultural and entertainment events. Events must be fully seated and face coverings must be worn except when eating or drinking.

Nightclubs
Nightclubs must close.

Gyms, leisure centres, hotel bars and restaurants
You need to have proof of immunity (for example, the EU DCC) to go to a gym, leisure centre, or to a hotel bar or restaurant.

You must be fully vaccinated, or recovered from COVID-19

The COVID Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be reinstated for those who are affected by these changes.

Pubs and restaurants
The rules for pubs and restaurants will change from 7 December 2021. See ‘Upcoming changes to restrictions’ above.

To access indoor service such as restaurants and pubs, you must show proof that you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months (proof of immunity). Children under 18 who are dining with you do not need proof of vaccination or recovery. You may be asked for proof that your child is under 18. Minors (people under 18) who are alone must show vaccination certs or proof of immunity.

Businesses can refuse entry if you cannot show proof of vaccination or immunity or you cannot show that your certificate relates to you– for example, by showing photo id. If businesses do not do this, they may be liable for fines or closure.

Proof of immunity and identification
You can use your EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) or your HSE vaccination record as proof. You need to have photo identification to show that the proof of vaccination or recovery belongs to you.

You can use the following as identification:

Driving licence
Passport
Student card
Garda age card
Irish Residence Permit (IRP)
National identity card

Any other official document that includes your photo and was issued outside of Ireland
If you do not have a DCC or HSE vaccination record (because you are visiting Ireland from another country for example), you can use an official vaccination record issued by the country where you were vaccinated or tested for COVID-19.

Hotels
You do not need to show proof of immunity to use the bar and restaurant in a hotel or guesthouse, if you are a registered guest. Residents of hotels can order drinks after midnight to drink in their rooms.

Important things to know about pubs and restaurants
A maximum of 10 people aged 18 and over are allowed per table. The maximum number allowed per table including children aged under 18 is 15 people.

In addition:

Pubs and restaurants must close at midnight
You should wear a face covering when you are not sitting at your table
There are no time limits on sittings
You can order or collect food or drink at a service counter or bar, but you cannot sit or eat there
If you do not have proof of vaccination or recovery, or you cannot show that the proof you have belongs to you, the bar or restaurant should refuse admission
One member of your group must give their details to the pub or restaurant for contact tracing
Multiple table bookings are allowed
If you do not have proof of immunity, you can sit in an outdoor section of the pub or restaurant
Nightclubs and indoor live entertainment
Nightclubs must close from 7 December 2021.

Nightclubs and live entertainment can reopen with 100% capacity for people with proof of immunity. Standing capacity at live concerts and live entertainment is restricted to 1500 people.

In addition:

Clubs and venues must close at midnight
You can buy drinks at the bar, but venues must make sure that people who are queuing for drinks keep one metres distance from each other.
You must wear a face covering when you are not drinking, eating or dancing.
Tickets must be secured in advance at least one hour before arrival at the event. If the venue operates as a pub or restaurant up to a certain time, and has dancing or live entertainment later, you can stay in the venue. You must still get a ticket to attend the dancing or live entertainment starts.

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