Covid restrictions expected to be lifted

Ministers are meeting today to discuss the path forward.

The Government is expected to approve the lifting of most of the country's Covid-19 restrictions when it meets this afternoon.

NPHET last night agreed that only mask wearing, Covid passes for international travel and isolation when symptomatic are to remain in place. However, it did not recommend a timeline for the lifting of restrictions, instead leaving that decision for Ministers.

The three party leaders are meeting this morning to discuss the letter sent by the public health officials, with Cabinet meeting around 3pm to sign off.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is then expected to address the nation at around 6pm.

It's expected the 8pm closing time for pubs, restaurants and cinemas could be lifted as soon as this evening or tomorrow. Limits on numbers attending sports events could also be lifted quickly.

The restrictions, put in place in December over fears about the Omicron variant, were originally expected to last until the end of January at the earliest.