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12th Jan 2022

Nightclubs could open within a few weeks as Minister gives positive update

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Fingers crossed.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Catherine Martin has given a very positive update about the sector despite the high number of Omicron cases circulating.

Speaking about the current 8pm closing time, she said the curfew is “awful” for music events, live entertainers and theatres and she is “hopeful” that nightclubs will reopen in February.

However, she said “we have to go with public health advice but I am still hopeful” when it comes to the easing of restrictions next month.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said that the government will not be reviewing the 8pm closing time before January 30th, with Tanaiste Leo Varadkar saying that these restrictions will be lifted on a phased approach next month.

When asked about nightclubs being reopened and if she could guarantee it, Catherine Martin told the Irish Mirror she is “hopeful for February” but added “we’ll have to see where we are.”

She also mentioned that she is hopeful when it comes to ICU numbers as they continue to decline.

This news comes as Cabinet agreed that the changes in isolation periods will come into effect from midnight on Thursday, as well as keeping current restrictions in place.

Speaking on Newstalk, Eamonn Ryan said that no other restrictions would be eased today as Cabinet met, reiterating that the current restrictions are to remain.

“The numbers are still very high so we have to be careful,” he said. “And we still have to keep a very close eye on the ICU numbers and the level of health outcome is.

“If that in any way turns… you might see an older cohort for whatever reason start to come in. So we will hold steady for the next week for sure.

“We are not due to look at those restrictions until later in January – that gives us plenty of time. I think we are all agreed, we get to the end of this month.

Photo: Leah Farrell/