The Republic of Ireland government has announced that organisers of indoor live events must limit attendance to 50% of a venue’s total capacity. Events must be fully seated and face coverings must be worn except when eating or drinking.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the measures, introduced in response to the potential threat of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, will remain in place until at least 9 January.

While proof of being fully vaccinated or being immune to Covid-19 must now be shown to enter indoor concerts and sporting events, outdoor events have no limits on numbers and attendees are not required to possess a vaccination or recovery certificate.

Other restrictions include the closure of nightclubs, and tables in restaurants and bars being limited to six people.

The Irish government said it recognised the “deep disappointment” felt by Irish events industry professionals and that it was considering support schemes.

“We recognise the challenges faced by the industry, especially in the lead up to Christmas,” it said in a statement.