FREEDOM DAY in Ireland has more-or-less been cancelled after the Government's decision to keep a number of key restrictions in place beyond October 22.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) held a meeting on Monday to discuss whether or not to proceed with 'Freedom Day' - on which the vast majority of public health measures, measures which had been in place since the start of the pandemic, would be lifted or significantly eased.
Members advised the Cabinet Covid-19 sub-committee not to reopen in such a drastic, brazen fashion, in light of the recent rise in Covid-19 cases across the country and fears of a fifth wave.
A decision is yet to be officially confirmed, but it's understood that the Irish government has agreed to keep a number of key restrictions in place, as per advice from NPHET.
Mask-wearing, vaccine certificates for indoor hospitality, and social distancing indoors will remain in place until 2022.
However, in an eyebrow raising twist, it's understood that nightclubs are set to reopen on Friday - with certain conditions in place.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan reportedly told Health Minister Stephen Donnelly that there could be up to 1,000 people in hospital by the end of November if Government pushes ahead with lifting all remaining restrictions.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror, Minister Donnelly said: "The advice from Dr Holohan to me is that it’s going to get worse before it’s going to get better because there has been an increase in cases and we haven’t yet seen that increase in cases translate into hospital and ICU.
"One message I have and it’s emphasised in the letter from the Chief Medical Officer to me, is that for those who have yet to get vaccinated, please get vaccinated.
"Two in every three people in ICU are completely unvaccinated.
"There is about 7% of the adult population unvaccinated.
"That’s putting a huge amount of pressure on the hospital system."