Proposals for full reopening of live events sector will face opposition

ireland
Proposals For Full Reopening Of Live Events Sector Will Face Opposition Proposals For Full Reopening Of Live Events Sector Will Face Opposition
Catherine Martin. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Archive/PA Images
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Attempts by Minister for Arts Catherine Martin to ease restrictions for live entertainment will be met by stiff opposition by public health officials, and within Government, this week.

Ms Martin is looking for Cabinet backing for the go-ahead for indoor events for vaccinated people and the reopening of indoor arts, drama and dance classes in September.

In a note sent to senior Government officials, she outlined proposals for the reopening of the live events sector “from the earliest possible date”.

All-Ireland final

Arts and entertainment figures have criticised the Government about ongoing restrictions in their industry compared to the decision to allow 40,000 people to attend Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final.

However, there is still “great reluctance” in Government to reopen live entertainment as Covid numbers rise, according to The Irish Times.

They remain focused on the return of schools and colleges.

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Senior Government and public health officials are also opposed to suspension of social distancing guidelines for live events.

It is believed that a number of pilot events will go ahead in September, these events will include a series of music and comedy events at Pearse Stadium in Galway, as part of Galway Arts Week.

Sources familiar with the memo told The Irish Times it proposes a “return to full capacity indoor events” for people with vaccine passports.

It adds that arrangements should be made in September for unvaccinated people to be admitted to events with a negative PCR or antigen test.

Tourist season

Ms Martin said the reopening of live events is “vital” for producers and festivals to salvage what remains of the tourist season, along with planning for future events.

She is set to meet with live events industry representatives on Wednesday.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will also be meeting on that day, ahead of issuing advice to Government on the next phase of easing restrictions.

The Cabinet Covid-19 sub-committee will discuss Nphet's recommendations in a meeting on Friday.

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