Crowds could return to ‘large’ music and sports events in Covid pilots

Proposals for both indoor and outdoor events will be 'firmed up' in the weeks ahead
Crowds could return to ‘large’ music and sports events in Covid pilots

Sarah Mooney

Crowds could soon return to live music and sporting events in a number of pilot events set to be considered by Government.

Speaking at a briefing outlining the Covid-19 restrictions set to ease over the summer, Minister for Tourism and Culture Catherine Martin said the green light had been given for her department to prepare proposals on the holding of a limited number of “large events”.

The proposals for both indoor and outdoor events will be “firmed up” in the weeks ahead, Ms Martin said.

“I am delighted this gives our live events and sport a signal. We are a nation that loves arts, sport and entertainment and I will do my best to help them,” she added.

Ms Martin said she could not provide a specific date for the pilot events.

'Great hope'

Ms Martin said her ministerial sectors of tourism, sport, culture and the arts had been given “great hope” in Thursday’s announcement of reopening plans.

“These sectors, some of the worst hit by the pandemic, will benefit from today’s Government decision,” she said.

“Due to your continued efforts, we are now in a position where we can look forward to the summer period.”

The Government’s announcement of reopening plans this evening saw June earmarked for the return of domestic tourism, with hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and self-catering accommodation to reopen from June 2nd. Bars and restaurants can also reopen to outdoor patrons from June 7th.

Ms Martin also indicated that cinemas and theatres could reopen in June, subject to public health advice.

We are now in a position where we can look forward to the summer period

A number of higher-risk activities will be considered at the end of June for a return later in the year, including the reopening of indoor venues such as restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Mass gatherings with spectators and international travel will also be assessed.

Ms Martin confirmed that her department is currently working on proposals for a “phased approach” to reopening small seated music venues, subject to health advice.

Guidelines will be submitted for the live entertainment sector next week by a working group, the Minister said.

Also speaking at the briefing, the Taoiseach said he wanted to see Ireland’s aviation, tourism and hospitality businesses back doing “what they do better than anyone else on earth” as he looked into July and beyond.

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