Five countries removed from Ireland's official 'green list'
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Five countries removed from Ireland's official 'green list'

THE IRISH government has updated its official 'green list' of countries following Tuesday's meeting with the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

At a press briefing yesterday evening, Taoiseach Micheal Martin made a number of announcements regarding public health guidelines - including that Ireland's green list will be shortened.

The list - which was published by the government last month - names the countries where Irish citizens are free to travel to without having to worry about quarantining upon return to the country.

It initially contained 15 countries, but this has now been reduced to 10, with Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Monaco and San Marino officially removed.

"Anyone travelling from those countries to Ireland will now have to limit movement for 14 days upon arrival," Martin said.

"There are no additions to the list, and we continue to advise people that the safest thing they can do in terms of their own health and the health of the country is to stay in Ireland."

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The countries that remain on the green list are Finland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Greece and Greenland.

The decision to cut the list by a third was made following a worrying trend of travel-based transmission of Covid-19 across Europe, according to the Taoiseach.

Meanwhile, it's also been announced that face masks will be mandatory in shops as of August 10, while the date for reopening all remaining pubs in Ireland has been pushed back to August 31 at the earliest.

The country was initially scheduled to begin Phase Four of the reopening plan on August 10, but any such move has been delayed for at least three weeks, in a major blow to the pub industry.

Pubs that have already opened will now be required to shut their doors to customers at 11pm.