Taoiseach Micheál Martin has announced the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. RollingNews.ie photo.
By Anthony Neeson
Ireland is reopening for the summer with the announcement that from this week hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and self-catering accommodation can reopen for guests, while from Monday outdoor services in bars and restaurants can recommence.
And international, non-essential travel restricts will be eased starting from July 19 - though restrictions will be still a possibility of there is a Covid-19 resurgence.
But it is envisaged that travelers from the U.S. will be able to land in Ireland and not have to go into a two week quarantine.
Speaking on Monday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that from next Monday, June 7 up to 200 people can attend outdoor events in venues with a minimum capacity of 5,000, and up to 100 can attend other outdoor events; cinemas and theaters will also reopen; there will also be a start to the reopening of driver theory test services and an incremental reopening of Driver Test Centres. phased reopening of day centers for older people will also begin; there will also be a number of pilot sporting and cultural events taking place in June and early July, to test the logistical requirements for further reopening (See report, Page 9).
There will also be further reopening of society during the summer months the taoiseach added. From July 5 there will be the return of indoor services in restaurants and bars; indoor events will recommence, with maximum of 100 attendees in larger venues and 50 in all others; there will be a further increase in the numbers attending outdoor events; indoor exercise and sports activities will return; there will be further relaxation on visits to private homes, and up to 50 guests will be able to attend wedding receptions.
“I am also conscious that many sectors of our society want and need some indication of what plans they might need to make for later in the summer,” the taoiseach said.
“And so, subject to continued progress against the virus, we would like to make the following changes in August.”
From 5th August there will be a further increase in numbers attending indoor events, with 200 in larger venues and 100 in all others; a further increase in number attending outdoor events; the 50% capacity restriction on public transport will be lifted, and up to 100 guests will be able to attend weddings.
“In the meantime I am conscious of the particular challenges faced by some of those sectors that have been closed the longest and have suffered the most,” the taoiseach said.
“In response, the government has today agreed a number of interim supports to help these sectors reopen. Pubs and bars that do not serve food have paid a very heavy price over the last year. To help them reopen successfully and safely, the Government has introduced a one off grant scheme.
“The impact of the virus on the events industry has been simply devastating and the government will be bringing forward new supports for this industry in the coming week. And let me say to every sector, the government will continue to actively engage with you and to move as quickly as possible as circumstances permit.”