Pubs and restaurants across Ireland are preparing for normal service to resume this weekend, with the 8pm curfew expected to be lifted on Saturday.
While many businesses hoped to stay open late today, RTE News reports that restrictions will be in place for one more day.
Restrictions will be lifted from 6am, and will see limits dropped on indoor and outdoor events (including weddings) and sporting fixtures. Rules on social distancing, Covid passes, and limits of six persons per table are also due to be scrapped.
A public address is to be held by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin to outline the next steps.
A full Cabinet meeting began at 3pm to consider recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
The Vintner’s Federation says there is no need to wait any longer: “NPHET has no objection to a full reopening of pubs so we need to go for it now. Northern Ireland is fully reopening over the coming days so it’s important we make the same decision,” said VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben.
“While it will take considerable time for the hospitality sector to fully recover from the past two years, this weekend marks a new beginning for the trade.”