Sports fans, nightclub goers and even brides are facing bitter disappointment today as the Government looks set to keep the majority of remaining Covid restrictions in place.
The Cabinet will meet today to consider the latest worrying concerns of NPHET, as numbers in hospital with the deadly virus hit close to 500 yesterday.
And it’s likely that they will decide to maintain public health rules on facemasks, Covid certs and possibly physical distancing.
A senior source close to NPHET said they would be “shocked” if the Government proceeded with lifting physical distancing restrictions.
This would have knock-on for all social gatherings from nightclubs, to bars, restaurants, major international rugby and soccer matches scheduled for the Aviva next month, and brides and grooms with weddings booked this weekend are in complete limbo concerning how many guests they will be allowed at their Big Day.
The NPHET source told the Irish Mirror last night: “Nobody is saying go backward and start putting restrictions back in place but abandoning masks and social distancing would be high risk.
“That’s based on this moment now and should serve as a wake-up call for everyone.
“I would be very surprised, shocked if physical distancing is not sustained.
“That’s not the message the Government wants to send out now to people, to lift social distancing rules.”
The proposed ‘pause’ to lifting the last remaining restrictions infuriated the hospitality industry last night.
A spokesman for the LVA (Licensed Vintners Association) said: “Realistically what is a pause going to accomplish?
“Covid isn’t going away.”
He added: “92% of the adult population is vaccinated. If reopening isn’t feasible now then the question remains when will it ever be?”
Restaurants Association of Ireland chief executive, Adrian Cummins, said: “While th