IRELAND is about to enter a "new phase of the pandemic" according to Taoiseach Micheál Martin who confirmed that almost all Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted next month.
Speaking to reporters on the steps outside Government Buildings on Tuesday, Martin revealed the country's latest exit roadmap, which will see restrictions dropped on October 22.
Hailing the nation's efforts throughout the pandemic, Martin declared that "we kept our head as a country.
"We stuck together, we followed the best advice, we did what we were asked and we looked out for each other.
"Because of the effort of our vaccination team and because you have stepped up to the mark and taken the vaccine when it was offered, we are now entering a whole new phase of the pandemic.
"We have weathered many storms, we’ve borne many ordeals, we've faced down many threats and we have seized many opportunities.
"We will rebuild our economy and renew our society.
"We will do these and all the other things, with renewed energy and determination, with personal freedoms restored and our country, we hope, emerging from this most extraordinary period in our history."
Martin confirmed that restrictions will begin to ease from September 6.
The new plan will see people return to offices, bars and nightclubs and will allow for large mass gatherings for the first time in over a year-and-a-half.
Live events for vaccinated people will be able to take place at 60% capacity indoors, and 75% capacity outdoors, while religious services will be able to resume at 50% capacity, regardless of whether you're vaccinated against Covid-19 or not.
From October 22, there will also no longer be a cap on the number of guests allowed to attend weddings.
Tanáiste Leo Varadkar celebrated the news, saying: "I'm looking forward to dancing again, if things go to plan, we’ll have some of the best Halloween parties in a few weeks' time.
"I’m no Michael Gove but I do look forward to the dancefloor once again."