Varadkar says Covid restrictions may last beyond January 9th

Varadkar says Covid restrictions may last beyond January 9th

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he does not anticipate the latest Covid-19 restrictions being lifted prior to January 9th.

Mr Varadkar said the public and businesses should be operating on the basis that restrictions will be in place until “at least January 9th”.

“Generally in our experience of the pandemic, when restrictions are imposed they tend to be extended, not reversed sooner than the date designated,” he told the Seanad on Tuesday.

“I think we need to bear that in mind, any time I hear anyone say ‘it’s just for a few weeks’ in this pandemic, I always say right back to them how many times have you said that and it turned out to be for a few months.

“That’s why we always make decisions mindful of the fact that what might appear to be a temporary measure can be one that lasts for months and even years.”

He said he hoped 2022 would be the year the country moves away from restrictions.

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment said the Government will hopefully be in a position to announce on Wednesday he financial supports it intends to provide to the hospitality and entertainment sectors.

He said he would like to make the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) “sector specific” but that he has been told it cannot be done.

He said if the wage subsidy scheme definitely can’t be used on a sectoral basis, the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) would be used on a sectoral basis to target companies, businesses and workers who are now adversely impacted by recent restrictions.

He said the measures may require primary legislation but added that the Finance Bill is currently in the Seanad where it can be amended to provide for “things like this”.

Mr Varadkar said he and the M

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