Cate McCurry, PA
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the reopening of major sectors over the next two months will be “steady”.
The Government is to make an announcement on reopening plans on Friday, with much anticipation around dates for travel, indoor hospitality and live events.
Mr Martin said the Government will try some events next month and then decide on what is possible in July.
Two Cabinet meetings will take place later this week when the National Public Health Emergency Team’s (Nphet) latest public health advice will be considered.
“We will outline what is possible, what we feel is possible for June and July in respect of travel for example, in respect for hospitality, and indeed live entertainment and the arts,” Mr Martin told the Today with Claire Byrne programme.
“We may try some events in June and then see what’s possible in July, but we will take Nphet’s advice.
“It’s steady as she goes to the end of this month, it’ll be steady in June. We’ll see what’s possible in July.”
While it is hoped indoor hospitality for restaurants and pubs will be allowed to resume in early July, Mr Martin cast some doubt on the exact dates.
“I think people need just to hold it and I can understand people from different sectors, they’re suffering and it’s had a huge negative impact, they have lost a lot of income, they haven’t worked,” Mr Martin added.
“That sector (hospitality) has suffered the most. We will make a comprehensive statement in terms of timelines and so forth.
“For the summer, outdoors is best and indoor has been challenging from the get-go.
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“I think let’s make the progress we’re making and continue to make it.
“That gives everybody the best guarantee of a more sustained opening into the future.”
The Government is also set to give further consideration to the Digital Green Certificate this week when it meets.
Under the proposals, people will receive a digital pass that can be scanned at an airport, indicating they have either been vaccinated, produced a negative Covid test or have recovered from the virus.
The move, to be signed off by EU leaders at the meeting this week, could pave the way for summer holidays.
It is due to be introduced on July 1st, but member states will have the option of a six-week grace period before implementing the measures.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said he hopes Ireland will give effect to the initiative at some point in July.
“I hope that Ireland can be an early adopter, from when this is introduced on July 1st,” Mr Coveney said.
“I don’t expect it to take effect from the first of July, but I certainly hope that we will be able to benefit from removing restrictions on international travel for many people who are travelling, perhaps not everybody, but for many people at some point in July.
“We will be making decisions on that and giving more clarity in relation to it on Friday.”