Changes from 28 February 2022
With effect from Monday, 28th February:
The mandatory requirement to wear masks will be removed.
The public health advice that masks should continue to be worn on public transport and in healthcare settings remains.
For information relating to all aspects of covid management, see current government advice here.
21 January 2022 – from the Government's press release:
"From 6.00am on Saturday 22 January, the following restrictions are removed:
• guidance in relation to household visiting;
• early closing time for hospitality and events;
• capacity restrictions for outdoor events, including sporting fixtures;
• capacity restrictions for indoor events, including weddings;
• sectoral protective measures;
• restrictions on nightclubs;
• requirements to have a valid Digital COVID Certificate to enter various premises.
From Monday 24 January, a return to physical attendance in workplaces can commence on a phased basis appropriate to each sector.
A number of public health measures will remain in place until 28 February 2022:
• requirements for mask wearing in all settings where currently regulated for;
• protective measures in schools and early learning and care facilities;
• In addition, the government reiterated the need for ongoing close monitoring of the virus.
The pandemic is not over and the emergence of new variants with increased levels of transmissibility, immune escape and/or virulence remains a risk both nationally and globally, particularly in the context of continued high levels of infection and variance in vaccine supply and uptake globally."
"From 6 September, all religious ceremonies can proceed with 50% of venue capacity, regardless of immunity status of attendees."
This is subject to appropriate protective measures including social distancing between groups, use of face coverings, etc.
From 20 September choirs and music groups may reconvene (see page 17 of the government booklet 'Reframing the Challenge' below for details, and also the HSE guidance on religious worship beneath this item).
The government's latest strategy plan for Covid-19 is Reframing the Challenge: Continuing our Recovery and Reconnecting.
Restrictions on religious services will be removed from 22 October 2021.
21 June 2021: HSE guidance on religious worship
Church services continue with a maximum of 50 people per church, or per pod if the church is large enough and has additional entrances/exits.
To help keep us all safe:
• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
• Keep your distance.
• Use a face covering.
Bishops’ Conference statement: Welcoming Vaccines for the Common Good
"The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference welcomes the encouraging news that a number of vaccines for Covid-19 are at an advanced stage of preparation and are likely to be available for use in the near future. The Catholic Church recognises that safe and effective vaccination is an essential aspect of the prevention of disease. We are encouraging Catholics to support a programme of vaccination, not only for their own good, but for the protection of life and the health of those who are vulnerable and for the common good of humanity."
See the full statement here.
Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19
Read about the government's plan, Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19
The graphic below is available as a pdf here.
Training Modules for Parish Support Teams and Volunteers
Click here to access the diocesan YouTube channel (Diocese of Galway) for a suite of videos to help in the return to public pastoral life.
Alternatively, you can link to the individual videos below.
COVID-19 Public Health Guidance
For the most up-to-date HSE information on Covid-19, please see the HSE webpages here.
For signs and posters which might be useful for your church or office see these HSE webpages.
Video resources from the HSE:
• How to handwash with soap and water
• Preventing the spread of infection: how to handwash with alcohol-based gel, and respiratory etiquette
• How to safely put on and take off a medical mask with loops
Nothing can Separate us from the Love of God
The guidance document, Nothing Can Separate Us from the Love of God, incorporates the principles in the 'Framework Document for a Return to the Public Celebration of Mass and the Sacraments' published by the Irish Episcopal Conference.
Church personnel should at all times follow the most up-to-date public health advice and associated regulations and obligations, particularly in regard to limitations on gatherings, the requirements of physical distancing, hygiene and sanitation measures, and the use of personal protective equipment as appropriate. To reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19, public health advice emphasises the importance of strict adherence to physical distancing, good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and regular cleaning and sanitising of shared spaces.
It is most important that people who are unwell – and especially those with any symptoms that might suggest Covid-19 infection – should stay at home and if possible participate, as now, on webcam, social media or radio.