Tánaiste Says Latest Easing Of Restrictions Is "Another Major Step Forward"
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that the return of hundreds of businesses for the first time since March of 2020, and thousands of workers, today (Monday September 6) is "another major step forward".
The government unveiled a new plan for reopening society last week, a new phase of which begins today with the easing of COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions for a number of areas of society including indoor and outdoor events, live music, coach tours, religious ceremonies and outdoor sports events.
Moving "Towards A New Normal"
As reported by rte.ie, Varadkar said that today's further easing of restrictions has been made possible by Ireland's "world class vaccination programme, which is now suppressing the Delta wave".
Varadkar reportedly said that the return of hundreds of businesses for the first time since March of year, and thousands of workers, is "another major step forward, as we move towards a new normal", and, "While some sectors experienced on and off lockdowns, these sectors have experienced one long lockdown, which ends today."
Varadkar reportedly said that these sectors will initially have to operate with COVID-19 vaccine passes, and at reduced capacity, but that these restrictions will be lifted on October 22 "all things going well", as outlined in the aforementioned reopening plan that was unveiled last week.
EWSS, CRSS And 9% VAT Rate
The tánaiste reportedly added, "The government recognises the enormous sacrifices made by staff and business owners in these sectors. We know that continued financial support will be needed,", and reportedly also clarified that the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will remain in place "at least until the end of the year" and that businesses that are reopening for the first time since the start of the pandemic will benefit from a bonus COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) payment.
Additionally, the reduced 9% VAT rate is reportedly set to remain in place until the summer of 2022.
"All OK" For Reopening
The above statement from the tánaiste follow statements that he reportedly made on Friday September 3 that the vaccination of individuals who are under the age of 35 is "really working now" and that it is "all ok" for the next stage of reopening on Monday September 6.
Varadkar reportedly said in a post published on Twitter, "Cases have plateaued [or are] falling. Rise in patients in hospital and ICU slowing.
"Vaccination of under 35s really working now. All ok for next stage of reopening on Monday."
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