UPDATED: Ireland to drop COVID-19 test requirement for vaccinated arrivals

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Ireland will drop its requirement for vaccinated arrivals to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test and return to seeking a proof of vaccination or recent infection upon entry, Prime Minister Micheál Martin said on Wednesday.

Ireland introduced the measure a month ago to slow the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant. Omicron now accounts for almost all Irish infections, which have rocketed to record levels in the last two weeks.

Martin also said he believed Ireland’s current restrictions to slow the spread of infection are effective and that it remained to be seen whether health chiefs will suggest any changes later this week.

The government tightened COVID-19 restrictions last month, shutting nightclubs and ordering pubs and restaurants to close at 8 p.m.

“There will be a challenging number of weeks in January. The next week or ten days will give us more evidence in terms of the impact of this variant on severity of illness and that will inform decisions on a broad range of issues,” Martin told a news conference. 

Photo – Aer Lingus aircraft parked up at Dublin Airport, Ireland. EPA/AIDAN CRAWLEY

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