Key Dates And What Covid-19 Restrictions Will Change In September?

The Government has agreed and announced Ireland’s plan for the next and final phase of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic Covid-19: Reframing the Challenge, Continuing Our Recovery and Reconnecting.

There are a number of key dates in the reopening plan with almost all remaining restrictions lifted by October 22.

ANSWERED – What Covid-19 restrictions will change in September

The first major milestones are September 1, September 6 and September 20 when the following restrictions will change and come into effect:

SEPTEMBER 1

Public transport will return to 100% capacity.

SEPTEMBER 6

Organised Indoor Events And Mass Gatherings

Organised indoor events and mass gatherings can take place with capacity limits of 60% of venue capacity where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within previous 6 months), or accompanied minors (under 18), in line with sectoral guidance. Where patrons have mixed immunity status, there will be no change to the current restrictions during September.

Indoor events and mass gatherings includes conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions and large-scale business events involving external audiences, and bingo venues.

For indoor live music, drama, live entertainment and sporting events, the audience/spectators should be fully seated. Easing of capacity limit restrictions does not apply to large privately organised social events.

Live music

Live music may commence having regard to appropriate protective factors.

Cinemas And Theatres

Cinemas and theatres will have capacity limits of 60% of venue capacity where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within previous 6 months), or accompanied minors (under 18), in line with sectoral guidance.
Where patrons have mixed immunity status, there will be no change to the current limits (50 patrons) during September.

Weddings

There will be no change to the current limits (100 guests) during September. Live music at weddings will be permitted.

Organised Outdoor Events And Mass Gatherings

Organised outdoor events and mass gatherings can take place with capacity limits of 75% of venue capacity where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within previous 6 months), or accompanied minors (under 18), in line with sectoral guidance.

Where patrons have mixed immunity status, the capacity limit will be 50%, subject to appropriate protective measures including social distancing between groups and face masks.

Anyone aged 12 and older who hasn’t yet received their first dose Covid-19 vaccine, can go to a walk-in vaccination clinic at Letterkenny IT later this week

Religious Ceremonies

All religious ceremonies can proceed with 50% of venue capacity, regardless of immunity status of attendees.

Coach Tours

Coach tour activity can recommence at 50% capacity with protective measures.

SEPTEMBER 20

Organised Indoor Group Activities

Organised indoor group activities (sports, arts, culture, dance classes) can take place with capacity limits of 100 people (with appropriate protective measures) where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within previous 6 months), or accompanied minors (under 18).

Where patrons have mixed immunity status, pods of up to 6 participants will be permitted (excluding adult leaders/teachers).
Multiple pods will be permissible subject to protective measures.

Number of pods will have regard to the size of venue and substantial social distance between individual pods.

Organised Outdoor Group Activities

Restrictions on outdoor group activities for participants will be removed.

Note, where applicable, spectator attendance will remain in line with regulations for events.

Return To Workplaces

Attendance at work for specific business requirements may commence on a phased and staggered attendance basis from 20 September.

(Source – Donegal Democrat / Donegal Live – News – Staff Reporter – 01/09/2021)

Revealed – The Counties With Worst And Best Vaccine Take-Up

Lowest rates in Donegal and Monaghan, where Covid-19 numbers remain high.

Counties with the lowest vaccine uptake have some of the highest rates of Covid-19 in the country, the Irish ­Independent can reveal.

New figures show that two Border counties currently reporting the highest incidence rate of the disease in Ireland over the past fortnight – Monaghan and Donegal – also have the lowest uptake of the vaccination.

The HSE said last night it had already began extra advertising campaigns in counties with a low vaccine uptake using local radio, newspapers and targeted social media campaigns as well as walk-in vaccination clinics.

Overall Ireland has the second highest vaccination uptake rate in the EU – bettered only by Malta.

The HSE’s county-by-county breakdown of vaccination uptake, seen by this newspaper, shows that nearly 99pc of adults over 18 in Waterford have obtained at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, making it the county with the highest uptake of the jab in the State.

Carlow, Tipperary, Wexford, Sligo and Wicklow also have vaccination uptake rates of 95pc or higher.

By contrast, Kilkenny, Louth, Offaly, Cavan, Longford and Dublin are among those counties with a vaccine uptake rate below 90pc.

Monaghan has the lowest rate of vaccination in the country with 81.9pc of adults there getting at least one dose of a Covid vaccine as of August 22. The Border county’s incidence rate of 1,547 per 100,000 of population over the past two weeks, as of last Sunday, is the highest in the State.

Vaccine uptake by county

Donegal, another Border county, has the second highest rate of Covid-19, with 1,159 cases per 100,000 over the past two weeks. It has the second lowest vaccination rate with 83.5pc of adults over 18 availing of a jab.

The HSE does not have figures for people who have been vaccinated in other jurisdictions and said it was possible some people living in Border counties were vaccinated in Northern Ireland where the vaccination programme began in early December of last year.

The figures indicate that a low uptake of vaccination within a county does not necessarily in all circumstances result in a corresponding higher incidence rate of the disease in that area.

The county with the third lowest rate of vaccination uptake, Laois, with 85.8pc, has a 14-day incidence rate of 377.8 cases per 100,000, the fifth lowest rate of new virus cases in the country. But another Border county, Cavan, which has an incidence rate of over 1,047 cases per 100,000 – the third highest in the country – has a vaccination uptake rate of 88.6pc, the sixth lowest in the country.

This is higher than Dublin with a vaccination uptake rate of 87.3pc, the fourth lowest in the country. Its 14-day incidence rate up to last Sunday is 512 cases per 100,000. Other large urban areas have high vaccination uptake, with Cork and Limerick registering over 94pc and Galway 93.8pc.

On average the uptake of the vaccination among over-18s is just under 92pc. The data is a percentage estimate by the CSO of the total eligible population who have obtained at least one dose of the vaccine.

The HSE said: “The risk of contracting and spreading the virus is greatly increased when you are not vaccinated and it is inevitable that areas with lower vaccination rates, albeit slight, will have a higher incidence rate of the virus.

“We know that the vaccine protects against severe illness and hospitalisation and we would encourage everyone who can to avail of it.”

(Source – Irish Independent – News – Hugh O Connell – 01/09/2021)

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