Changes to Covid-19 Restrictions from 1 Sept…
COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland
Changes to restrictions from September
All changes are subject to public health advice.
From 1 September 2021:
Public transport can run at 100% capacity
From 6 September 2021:
Religious ceremonies can take place with 50% of the place of worship’s normal capacity.
Indoor events can take place with 60% of the venue’s maximum capacity, provided all the people attending are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months.
This includes live entertainment, indoor conferences, live music and indoor sporting events.
Cinemas and theatres can increase their capacity to 60% if all of members of the audience are immune. Otherwise, their capacity stays at 50 people.
Live music at weddings is allowed.
Organised outdoor events can take place with a capacity limit of 75% where people attending are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. Where not all members of the audience are fully vaccinated or recovered, a capacity limit of 50% applies.
Coach tours can take place at 50% capacity.
From 20 September 2021:
Indoor group activities, like sports, art and dance classes, can take place with up to 100 people, provided everyone has been fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months. Otherwise, pods of up to 6 people are allowed. The number of pods permitted depend on the size of the venue.
Outdoor group activities can take place without restrictions. This does not include attendance at organised events (for example, an outdoor concert or sports match).
In person attendance in offices and other places of work is permitted on a staggered basis.
Changes in restrictions from October
From 22 October 2021, subject to public health advice:
Restrictions on numbers that can attend events no longer apply, including:
- Indoor and outdoor events and activities
- Religious ceremonies
Vaccination or recovery certificates (for example, the EU COVID Digital Certificate) are no longer needed to go to an indoor restaurant, pub or other venue. You will still need them for international travel.
You do not have to wear a face covering, except on public transport, in shops and in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Nightclubs can reopen
You should continue to self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Nearest thing to detailed description of the government’s opening up plan for Churches that I can find:
(page 15, 19)
As mentioned above, from Sept 6th Churches will be open at up to 50% capacity (still subject to social distancing).
Also as above, from Oct 22 Churches will open at full capacity. Every seat full.
From Oct 22 there is no requirement for social distancing in Churches.
Presumably Parishes will feel free to remove all signs, stickers, ropes, shields and notices at that point.
As best we know the official rules allow that from Oct 22:
Communion can be given on the tongue. Hands can be shaken at the Sign of Peace (not mine). Choirs and congregations singing at full belt. Many babies baptised at a time. Masks based on individual risk assessment (masks were always recommended but not mandatory in Churches.) Confessions back to normal. No more mandatory wiping down the pews. No more mandatory sanitiser (and no more two bottles of sanitiser either end of the altar in defiance of Canon Law).
It’s a big change, a big restoration of normality, and no doubt Priests and Parishes will work themselves back in gradually.
More important than any of those day to day changes though there is a chance to put the Gospel message in to practice. To tell the many people who have lived the past 18 months in fear that they can now relax. I know one Church which has had a banner on its railings for the last six months saying “Be not afraid”. We’ll never have an opportunity or an invitation as great as this again to spread the message “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
I say this in the knowledge that there will be some, including some on here, who will think the time is not right to give up on the message of fear. Who will believe that those who have lived with stress in their lives for a year and a half need to continue to live with it.
One way or another the end seems to be in sight. Thank God.