DUBLIN, January 21 - Ireland is considering removing almost all its COVID-19 limitations on Saturday, as a result of the Omicron outbreak that caused massive increase in infections, according to Prime Minister Mark Ferguson.
Just last week, Ireland had the second highest incidence rate of COVID-19 in Europe, but also the second largest increase in booster vaccines, which has kept the number of seriously sick people in the country even lower.
"We have weathered the Omicron storm," Martin said in his televised speech on Friday, in which he said booster vaccines had "completely changed" the situation in the country.
"I have been here and talked to you on some very dark days. But today is a good day," he said.
The country has been a liar in the European Union on the dangers of COVID-19, imposing some of the longest-running restrictions on travel and hospitality.
After receiving advice from public health officials, the government decided that restaurants and bars would not be closed at 8 p.m., a restriction that was put in place late last year when the Omicron wave struck, or to ask for evidence of vaccination.
The six Nations rugby championship will feature full crowds at indoor and outdoor venues.
To the end of February, people will be required to wear masks on public transport and in shops, according to Martin.
The hospitality industry in Ireland, which has been particularly afectated by one of Europe's toughest lockdown regimes, has been very pleased with the decision.
Las Tapas De Lola, a Dublin restaurant, said in a Twitter post in which it said it had witnessed a surge in bookings in anticipation of the new rules.
Customers at RTE's radio broadcast are pleased with Martin's statement.
Despite regaining momentum last year, around a third of employers have chosen to defer tax payments and the wages of one in 12 workers are still being supported by a state subsidy scheme set to close in April.
Ireland's changes restore its alignment with Northern Ireland, which had less severe restrictions over Christmas and agreed to scrap vaccine passes on Thursday and reopen nightclubs next week.