The Irish Government has updated the rules surrounding live events and venues due to the new wave of the Omicron variant.

Indoor live events are limited to a capacity of 50% of the venue’s total capacity. Attendees must also be fully seated at indoor events and must also wear a face mask, unless consuming food or drink.

EU Digital Covid Certificates – a Covid pass demonstrating a double vaccination or recovery from Coronavirus –  are already in place for indoor hospitality and events, cinemas and theatres. On Tuesday, this was also extended to gyms and leisure centres, and hotel bars and restaurants.

Outdoor events however are not affected by the rule changes, as the requirement for Covid passes and fixed capacity limits do not affect outdoor venues. Though Ireland’s Government does recognise that sectors should ensure appropriative protective measures are in place.

Nightclubs are also not permitted to open and live entertainment venues must shut before midnight, with all attendees to be vacated by this time regardless of the event taking place. This applies to both indoor and outdoor venues.

For group bookings and ticket purchases, one member of the group must give over their details for the use of contact tracing.

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, has also announced additional funding to support the live performance sector.

The additional €50m (£42.8m/$56.6m) will be spread across seasonal musical theatre and pantomimes, the Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS), adaptation grants for venues, local authorities to support artists and performances, as well as the Saint Patrick’s Festival 2022.

Minister Martin said: “The live entertainment sector has been asked to shoulder a heavy burden with these new restrictions. This is not where we wanted to be but the epidemiological situation is such that we must try to reduce socialisation to manage Covid-19 case numbers over the coming weeks.

“I know audiences are still seeking live performance experiences after venues were closed for so long and I do not want to see stages going dark in the coming weeks. LPSS 3 will provide venues with the flexibility to decide if they will proceed with their events or reschedule and keep artists and crew employed.”

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