An end to most COVID-19 restrictions is now an imminent prospect in Ireland following advice from public health authorities (NPHET) given to government last night. NPHET gave the go-ahead for an end to current COVID measures such as curfews in the hospitality sector, mass gatherings and digital COVID passes. A phased return to work has also been recommended.
The government will meet this morning to decide and later announce the actions and timing, but it is expected that most of the remaining restrictions, such as mass gatherings and the 8pm curfew on hospitality will be removed in the coming days. Goodbody Stockbrokers today noted that considering NPHET’s consistently cautious stance over the past two years, the scale and speed of the removal of restrictions comes as somewhat of a surprise but is supported by the fact that hospitalisations and ICU admissions have remained low in this latest Omicron wave despite Ireland seeing among the highest case numbers per capita in the world at the start of 2022.
According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, "After close to two years of rolling restrictions in Ireland that have been among the strictest in the developed world, the decision is a welcome one and should allow for an ongoing rapid rebound in consumer spending and a recovery in the small business sector in Ireland in 2022. A full removal of fiscal supports, planned for April, can now also proceed. With even NPHET effectively saying the virus has moved to an endemic state, the need for either restrictions or supports is now a thing of the past."