July reopening: Government to consider return of live events, travel and indoor hospitality

ireland
July Reopening: Government To Consider Return Of Live Events, Travel And Indoor Hospitality
The return of indoor dining may be put on hold if Delta variant case numbers increase. Photo: Getty Images.
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The Cabinet are due to decide on Friday if remaining sectors of the economy restricted due to Covid-19 can reopen in July.

Aviation, live events, including concerts and sporting events, and indoor hospitality are on the agenda this week, with Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath and Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris each indicating these areas would return in the coming weeks.

The Irish Times reports other Ministers also said the signs for reopening the remaining sectors of the economy are encouraging.

Pubs and restaurants are expected to be permitted to serve food and alcohol indoors from early July, while spectators may be allowed to attend selected sporting events, so long as the crowds do not exceed 5 per cent of the total capacity.

Minister for Culture Catherine Martin has made a list of proposals for the live events industry, according to the Irish Examiner, which may see a return of gigs from next month.

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On Sunday, Mr Harris described Friday's upcoming meeting as "very significant", adding: "It's really going to look at trying to provide clarity on what perhaps would be the three trickiest sectors."

"Two weeks ago people were talking about closing the Border and mandatory hotel quarantine. Now we are talking about when we can get back in the skies again. I suppose that is a sign of the success of our vaccine programme," Mr Harris told RTÉ.

Vaccines

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Despite delays in its early stages, the vaccine rollout in the State has now gathered pace. One million doses of the vaccines are expected to be administered in May, while confidence is once again growing that over 80 per cent of eligible adults will be offered at least their first jab by the end of next month.

The stepping up of the vaccine rollout is a considerable factor in the decision to reopen the remaining areas of the economy, and could lead to a return of non-essential international travel before the end of July.

Government is set to approve the use of the EU's Digital Green Certificate system for travel to and from participating EU member states shortly, however, they will be given until the middle of August to adopt the new initiative.

Despite the six-week implementation window, Ministers are said to be pressing for its establishment as soon as possible, which could see it introduced in July.

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