Ireland, which had one of Europe’s longest COVID-19 lockdowns, will lift nearly all pandemic restrictions in October following one of the continent’s most successful vaccine rollouts, Prime Minister Micheal Martin announced on Tuesday.
“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,” Prime Minister Micheál Martin said in a televised address, Reuters reports.
According to the prime minister’s office, more than 88 percent of Irish citizens over the age of 18 are fully immunised against COVID-19. Almost 92 percent of citizens over the age of 18 in the country have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
For months, Ireland maintained what some referred to as Europe’s most stringent COVID-19 restriction. This summer, everything changed.
Ireland adopted the European Union’s COVID-19 certificate on July 19, allowing citizens to travel to the EU and visitors to travel from the EU to Ireland. Furthermore, people from the United Kingdom and the United States were able to travel to Ireland at the time.
“This is an important time for us all,” Prime Minister Martin said at the time during a national address, a BBC article reported. “After the trauma of the last 15 months, we are finally taking definite steps toward enjoying normal times with friends and loved ones again. We are almost back to a point where we can enjoy the ordinary and extraordinary moments in our lives; the excitement and relief is palpable.”