Eamon Ryan: It’ll be up to societies and student unions to apply new restrictions

Minister Eamon Ryan has said that it will be up to societies and students unions to ensure “that there is a social life in our colleges”

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said that it will be up to societies and students unions to apply newly announced restrictions.

Ryan has highlighted societies and students unions as crucial in ensuring that “there is a social life in our colleges”.

Earlier this evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the next phase of public health restrictions which will see an easing of measures during September and October. 

From September 6, live music is permitted, outdoor gatherings can increase to 75% capacity for fully vaccinated people and 50% capacity for a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated. Indoor gatherings can occur at 60% capacity for fully vaccinated people.

From September 20, indoor group activities of up to 100 fully vaccinated people can take place and family limits on outdoor gatherings will be lifted. The phased return to offices and workplaces will also begin on September 20.

On October 22, almost all remaining restrictions are set to be lifted. This will include physical distancing, mask wearing outdoors and in indoor private settings, limits on household gatherings and restrictions on nightclubs.

Mask wearing in retail, public transport and healthcare situations will remain a legal requirement. In the education sector, Martin said that mask wearing “will be subject to review and will continue to be subject to review”.

Trinity announced earlier this week that they are to adopt a two-phase approach in the return to campus with restrictions easing after Reading Week. Trinity is to open on September 6 with a “more cautious” approach than other institutions These regulations are to last up to and including Reading Week.

From November 1, College intends to “relax regulations further to allow for many more in-person campus experiences”. 

In the first half of the semester, lecture sizes will be limited, with each individual school to decide on the precise maximum class size.

In their email, College confirmed that the Library and study spaces are to continue to operate with two metre social distancing and mandatory mask wearing, with a limited time period for bookings. Students will be free to “come and go” from campus, and will not be denied access to campus if they do not have a class scheduled. 

Mask wearing will not be made mandatory for students whilst outdoors on campus, the email also confirmed. 

College announced in their email earlier this week that indoor dining would be permitted, with students being required to show their EU Digital Covid Certificates. 

Societies will not be permitted to hold indoor events on campus during the first half of the semester according to College’s previous announcement. Outdoor events are permitted, but will be restricted in scale and time. 

Indoor social events will not be allowed under College’s proposed plan, however outdoor social events are to be permitted. Outdoor events outside the Pavillion bar (the Pav) will be allowed, within 1 hour and 45 minute time frames.

However, in an email seen by Trinity News from the Central Societies Committee (CSC), they noted that “as restrictions for societies are directly linked to social restrictions, [they] can also confirm that should these restrictions change, for example to allow indoor events, societies will be allowed to operate within them”.

The CSC also stated that new restrictions will be implemented “with immediate effect”.

Kate Henshaw

Kate Henshaw is current Editor-in-Chief of Trinity News, and a graduate of Sociology and Social Policy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.