Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was hopeful Covid restrictions could be removed at the end of the month, allowing events and the hospitality sector to open after 8pm.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is meeting next Thursday and will advise Stephen Donnelly, the health minister, on the restrictions.
Mr Martin said the country was making progress against Omicron: “I would hope that we would be in a position to move forward in terms of the current restrictions but I’m not in a position yet to say anything definitive.”
“Since the start of January, business has been decimated,” he said. “People are working until 5.30pm or 6pm and then, by the time they get home, shower, and get changed, the bars are closed.
Also welcoming the news was Cork Opera House chief executive Eibhlín Gleeson: “Like everyone across our industry, we are encouraged by any news that means we can return to normal business hours and welcome our patrons back for a wide variety of shows over the coming months.”