No further easing of Covid-19 restrictions until end of September
There will be little or no easing of the Covid-19 restrictions currently in place before the end of September, it has emerged.
It's understood that while the government is drafting plans to end Covid-19 restrictions with publication planned before the end of August, restrictions will remain in place until at least the end of September.
This is being done to allow time for students at all levels, including third-level, return to in-person learning on campuses and in classrooms across the country next month.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin wants to see the successful return of schools and colleges before making a decision to wind down other restrictions, particularly in the indoor events and experience sector.
It is unlikely that indoor live entertainment will be given the green light to resume until October at the earliest with industry chiefs pleading with the government for clarity.
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has called on Government to intensify efforts to publish and commit to a roadmap for the safe reopening of the Experience Economy.
Ibec Director of Membership and Sectors, Sharon Higgins, said: “Government must urgently engage with stakeholders in the Experience Economy to detail a clear roadmap towards the safe reopening of the industry that reflects the risk reduction that the vaccine programme is delivering.
“The Experience Economy is crucial in making Ireland a great place to live, work and invest. Its stakeholders have borne the brunt of the devasting economic impact of Covid and the continued failure to provide clarity as to when vast portions of the industry can reopen only serves to add further pressure to an already struggling sector.
“While the health consequences are an important dimension, so too are the livelihoods of those driving Ireland’s Experience Economy and it must be noted that many have already missed out on opportunities afforded by the peak holiday season in Ireland. In the absence of any roadmap, at the very least commitments must be granted to extend financial supports to the sector, aligned with an enhancement in investment in the ongoing management of Covid with regards to antigen testing.”
Ibec also noted the broader business community’s disappointment regarding the continued absence of any timelines to support businesses in safely returning staff to the workplace.
Those in the industry are growing more frustrated with the restrictions as they see other sectors released from the grip of restrictions. 40,000 people will be in Croke Park for the All-Ireland hurling final this weekend while restaurants, pubs and hotels are operating with the provision of digital vaccine certs.
The events industry want the chance to operate in the same way.
It's understood the government will use the rest of August and September to hold more test events like live music concerts to put a final shape on any return to normality.
Over 80% of Ireland's adult population are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
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