Martin outlines 'comprehensive' plans to resume travel, sport and entertainment

ireland
Martin Outlines 'Comprehensive' Plans To Resume Travel, Sport And Entertainment
The Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting also discussed issues such as the HSE cyberattack and housing.
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Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said there will be a “comprehensive statement” next week on how travel and aviation will be resumed.

Mr Martin told a Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting that the announcement will also include plans for the future of mandatory hotel quarantine as well as sport and entertainment for the next phase of reopening in June and July, according to The Irish Times.

The Taoiseach said plans for the EU's digital green certificate and progress in the State's vaccination programme were factors that will support the return of international travel.

On Wednesday, EU member states agreed to ease Covid-19 travel restrictions on non-EU visitors.

Mandatory hotel quarantine

Mr Martin said mandatory hotel quarantine was being evaluated and spoke of the need to support tourism, the economy and further growth.

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He also gave an “upbeat” assessment of the vaccine rollout programme, saying this week will match the number of 280,000 doses administered last week with up to one million doses expected to be administered in May.

Mr Martin said Pfizer's decision to manufacture a component of their vaccine in Ireland was positive news, adding that it shows faith in the economy.

Senator Lisa Chambers highlighted the ongoing restrictions on partners accompanying pregnant women to some hospitals.

Mr Martin said that short of visiting each maternity hospital himself he had made the need for these restrictions to be lifted very clear.

Aer Lingus' decision to permanently close its crew base at Shannon Airport was another issue discussed at the meeting, according to sources.

HSE cyberattack

Mr Martin said the cyberattack on the HSE was extremely serious, while also denouncing the criminals involved in it.

He said hundreds of people, including external experts, are working on the issue.

Senior Fianna Fáil TD Jim O'Callaghan told the meeting that Real Estate Investment Trusts (Reits) should be banned from buying any residential property, but still be allowed to build housing units.

He described housing as the main issue in the upcoming Dublin Bay South by-election.

Mr Martin told the meeting that housing is the social issue of this generation, outlining Fianna Fáil's commitment to build social and affordable homes and to home ownership.

The Irish Times report that the Taoiseach told the meeting he wants supply to be increased to 40,000 homes a year over the next decade and that the Government is approaching housing like Brexit and Covid-19 with “all hands are on deck”.

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien also addressed the meeting on his plans to boost supply.

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