Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

19.38 28 Apr 2021


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Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has confirmed to his party the planned scrapping of the €9 'substantial meal' when pubs re-open.

This means gastropubs and so-called 'wet pubs' will be allowed to open at the same time.

It is expected outdoor dining and drinking will be allowed to resume from the week of May 24th.

The intercounty travel ban is also likely to be lifted at the same time as pubs and restaurants re-open.

While Mr Varadkar said there needs to be a proposed plan by the end of May for a return to international travel.

He said there needs to be a plan in place as more people are vaccinated. However, he said the return to international flying needs to be phased.

Speaking last week, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan suggested it would be 'months rather than weeks' before non-essential international travel resumed.

He told Newstalk Breakfast: "I don't want to speculate on dates because you don't want to raise false expectations, and also we're still not out of the woods yet.

"We're doing really well, we've done really well in the last few months - we've got our numbers down... we will get out of the precarious position we're in.

"And yes: I would expect in a number of months, rather than weeks, that that will see then the return to more normal arrangements in a whole range of areas - including international travel."

It comes as the Cabinet Sub-Committee on COVID-19 is meeting to hear the medical advice on easing restrictions over the next few months.

Ministers will consider whether to speed up the re-opening to include the re-opening of hospitality in May.

NPHET will brief the team of senior ministers meeting this evening on what they think is possible - but there has been a move to potentially open hospitality sooner than planned.

There was a push from some ministers to allow pubs and restaurants to serve outdoors from the end of next month.

Minister Ryan also said earlier the intercounty travel ban will be tied to the re-opening of hospitality - raising the hope of that being eased next month too.

Personal services like barbers, hairdressers and beauticians will return next month.

There is also expected to be a significant vaccine dividend announced, which would allow people with one dose of a vaccine to meet up.

An expansion of the number of households that can meet up outdoors is also being considered for May.

Meanwhile services that are expected to return in June include retail, construction, outdoor training, religious services and museums.

Main image: Tanaiste Leo Varadkar speaking at Government Buildings in February 2021. Picture by: Julien Behal Photography / RollingNews.ie

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Eamon Ryan Easing Restrictions. Hospitality Leo Varadkar Pubs Re-opening Restaurants Substantial Meal

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