Ireland Limits Indoor Dining to Fully Vaccinated People Due to Concerns Over Delta Variant

People enjoying outdoor dining in Galway, Ireland, June 7, 2021. © Clodagh Kilcoyne, REUTERS

Ireland said on Tuesday it will restrict indoor drinking and eating in bars and restaurants to those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have previously been infected by it due to concerns about the Delta variant.

The country joins a handful of places in Europe to introduce the measure, including Austria, Denmark, and Israel, while Moscow has brought in similar restrictions.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, who announced a general slowdown of the easing of public health restrictions, said that health officials told him they thought that the variant made indoor hospitality too dangerous for the unvaccinated.

“The safest way to now proceed with a return to indoor hospitality is to limit access to those who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID infection,” Martin said.

Only 41% of Ireland’s adult population has been vaccinated, with 65% having received one dose, the health minister said on Monday. A senior health official earlier this month said some in their 20s may have to wait until September for a first dose.

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