When will lockdown end in Ireland?
It’s the age-old question people have been desperately seeking the answer to this year, last March, last June, and again last winter.
So, is there a light at the end of the tunnel? And more importantly, when will we start to see it?
When will lockdown end?
Right now, no one knows. The current Level 5 restrictions are officially in place until the end of January. Before then, NPHET will meet to discuss the country’s progress and decide whether further restrictions need to be implemented or if the lockdown should be extended.
Given the recent surge in coronavirus cases and Ireland’s incredibly high daily Covid rate, it’s looking unlikely that we will see an ease in restrictions on February 1. According to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, it could take over two more months until businesses will be permitted to reopen again.
“Government will review the situation on January 30 and confer with NPHET and seek advice from other groups as well, and make a decision as to what we can do from February 1,” he said earlier this week.
“To people who are in business and work for businesses that are closed, realistically the safest thing is prepare for the fact we may not be able to reopen those business until the end of March.”
Restaurants, salons, and other similar businesses have been closed since the Christmas break, while pubs have been shut since long before that.
Pubs in Dublin in particular have suffered tremendously due to the pandemic with those only serving alcohol shutting their doors in March and never reopening.
What about schools?
Schools across Ireland were expected to reopen on January 6. This date was initially pushed back to the following week before being scrapped altogether.
Leaving Cert students were first told to attend classes in person while the remainder of students engaged in online learning, but this idea was also binned.
“That’s not to say that schools may not go back and things like construction that was limited could go back,” he said this week.
Schools are currently expected to reopen on February 1, but this will of course depend on the state of the country’s Covid rate.
When will we start to see the effects of the vaccine?
The first person in Ireland was vaccinated against Covid-19 back in December, and although this news brought a glimmer of hope to those desperate for a respite from restrictions, it will be a while yet before we see the effects of the roll out.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said that he hopes 700,000 people will receive the jab by the end of March.
It was initially expected that the entire population (or those who want the vaccine) would receive it by August, but now late September is looking like a more likely time frame.