Ireland Covid: Four-Day St. Patrick’s Day Weekend in Remembrance of Pandemic Sacrifice
Ireland announces FOURDAY St Patrick’s Day weekend in thanks for public efforts during the Covid pandemic
- Ireland has announced a new public holiday to mark the sacrifices made during the pandemic
- It falls on March 18 this year, making St. Patrick’s Day weekend four days long
- In years to come, it will be marked on St Brigid’s Day, which falls on February 1.
- Ministers also approved a £800 tax-free bonus for frontline health workers
Ireland has announced a four-day St. Patrick’s Day weekend this year as a ‘thank you’ to the nation for the sacrifices made during the Covid pandemic.
Politicians have announced a new holiday this year that will take place on March 18, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, meaning workers are off Thursday through Sunday.
The holiday will then be made permanent, but will fall on St Brigid’s Day – February 1 – in the coming years.
Ministers have also signed for a £800 tax-free bonus that will be paid to frontline health workers to thank them for their service.
Ireland has announced an additional holiday this year that will make the St. Patrick’s Day weekend four days long (file image)
The money will be paid to all workers, paramedics, student nurses and members of the armed forces called up to assist in the rollout of the vaccine.
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said: ‘Two years since the start of this pandemic, 9,000 lives have been lost to Covid on the island of Ireland and millions of lives have been interrupted.
Today the government has decided on three actions to commemorate those who lost their lives to Covid and to recognize all the employees, volunteers and members of the general public who have helped us in this fight against the pandemic, and in particular frontline health workers.
“Those who wore masks and coats, who were exposed to Covid patients and Covid samples every day on the job, even before there were vaccines.”
Ireland entered its first Covid lockdown on March 12, 2020, just days before St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were set to take place.
Despite announcing repeated roadmaps from restrictions, the past two years have seen precious weeks in which the nation was completely free from Covid regulations as wave after wave of infections washed up on its shores.
Ministers also agreed on a £800 tax-free bonus to be paid to all frontline health workers who helped roll out the vaccine
The latest measures were imposed in December, when nightclubs were closed, bars and restaurants were given an 8 p.m. curfew and capacity restrictions were imposed on gatherings as the Omicron wave arrived.
But ministers have expressed hope in recent weeks that curbs can be eased soon as the virus fades quickly with hospitalizations below previous peaks.
Public expenditures minister Michael McGrath said health professionals owe “a national thank you.”
He said: ‘When this cruel virus prevented family members from being with loved ones, it was our healthcare staff who held their hands and often comforted them in their final hours of life.
“We owe them a national thank you.
“While no amount of money can truly reflect the dedication of frontline healthcare workers, the government believes it is appropriate at this time for a one-time tax-free payment of €1,000 to be provided to all eligible public health and ambulance workers. in recognition of their efforts.
‘A pro rata arrangement applies to part-timers.’
Mr McGrath said those who work in private nursing homes and hospices “will also receive a tax credit recognition payment.”