/Lockdown Ireland: Sun holidays could be back at the end of July as real pub reopening date marked – Irish Mirror Online

Lockdown Ireland: Sun holidays could be back at the end of July as real pub reopening date marked – Irish Mirror Online

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin has indicated people could holiday abroad at the end of July.

He also said people could be having a pint indoors around the same time stating “it’s a possibility.”

However, Mr Martin said the government will not be afraid to intervene and put the breaks on the lockdown reopening should the situation deteriorate quickly.

He said that the government will “take steps, if steps are necessary” should another spike in Covid infections occur throughout May.

He said: “I think we’re in a good space. We will not be afraid to intervene in short if there are worrying trends.

“What we are now doing is low to medium risk.”

Should things go to plan, June will bring the return of pubs and restaurants with outdoor dining set to return on June 7.

On international travel, the Taoiseach told RTÉ that Ireland will participate in the so-called EU Digital Passport and officials are
working on how to implement it here.


He said as vaccinations ramp up across Europe, this could allow travel later in the summer.

He said: “As Europe vaccinates in sync the travel situation opens up.

“The US and other countries will also be well advanced at the end of the summer.

“We cannot stay disconnected forever. Ireland is a globalised country.

“We have to assess all the risks as we move forward.

“Travel resuming towards the latter half of July is a possibility.”


Asked specifically when people might be able to enjoy a pint indoors, Mr Martin told Newstalk said it “may be possible” towards the end of July.

However, he said: “It’s a possibility. I do not want to be nailing my colours to the mast [but] by that time there will be a significant
number of vaccinations.”

He reiterated that outdoors was safer and NPHET are cautious about activity indoors.

Mr Martin said it was “made very clear to us” by NPHET that for May and June, indoor dining would be considered high risk.

On guests attending weddings, Mr Martin said large gatherings at weddings have always been a safety concern.

On May 10, up to 50 people can attend a wedding service at a Church.

But only six people can attend an indoor reception and 15 people can attend an outdoor reception.

He said: “The international advice has always been negative in terms of weddings in terms of large crowds gathering and that.

“And hopefully we can improve upon that in July and August.

“It’s a very tough regime on people getting married, right now to have six at the official event.

“Twenty five is very tough…and we all face challenges in terms of numbers and, I hate saying the phrase, ‘makes the cut’.”

Meanwhile, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said officials are examining whether people aged in their 40s could potentially get
vaccinated at the same time as those in their 50s, who will have to wait for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Claire Byrne show, Minister Donnelly said: “What we are thinking through is, in several weeks’ time, is there an option to begin vaccinating for example the 40-49 cohort in parallel [to the 50 to 59 year olds]?

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The Johnson & Johnson jab has been given the green light for use in those aged over 50 but the majority of the delivery is not due until June – potentially delaying vaccinating those aged between 50-59.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said it’s anticipated around 4.5 million vaccines will have been administered by the end of June which would
meet the State’s target of vaccinating 82% of people with at least one jab.

But he warned that there continues to be issues around the volumes of doses from AstraZeneca and who can receive the J&J jab based on advice from NIAC.

Minister Donnelly also revealed there are now close to 150 cases of “variants of concern” identified in Ireland.

These include 71 cases of the variant first detected in South Africa and 27 cases of the P1 variant from Brazil.

He said eight cases of the variant first detected in India have been identified along with two from California that are a mutation of the
B117 variant, which was first 1found in the UK.

While 15 cases of the Brazilian variant have been identified, six cases of the New York variant and 20 of the variant first identified
in Nigeria have also been found in Ireland.

Minister Donnelly also confirmed people travelling from India to Ireland will have to stay at mandatory hotel quarantine hotels from Tuesday.