Taoiseach: 'Indoor pints' may be possible towards end of July


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.27 30 Apr 2021


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The Taoiseach says people will be asked to work from home unless absolutely necessary "through to September".

He says restrictions will have to remain in order to reopen the likes of retail and hospitality.

However, he says people may be able to have an 'indoor pint' in a pub towards the end of July.

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He also indicated that foreign holidays could be on the cards from July or August - supporting his Government colleague Eamon Ryan's suggestion that international travel is likely to resume 'later in the summer'.

The Taoiseach was speaking on The Pat Kenny Show after yesterday announcing a major reopening plan for May and early June.

Taoiseach: 'Indoor pints' may be possible towards end of July

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Mr Martin said the plan is "phased, cautious and responsible", and they want to ensure anything that opens stays open.

While many sectors now have a reopening date, the Taoiseach said working from home will continue through the summer.

He said: "The advice is to work from home unless absolutely necessary.

“That will be the situation through to September: that’s the advice from public health. They're very clear on that."

He said tens of thousands of people will be returning to work as retail, hospitality and other sectors reopen, and the "greater mobility" means those who can work from home will have to continue doing so.

Indoor and outdoor dining

Under the new plans, outdoor dining in pubs and restaurants will be allowed to resume from June 7th.

Previous reopenings have seen strict limits on the numbers able to dine outdoors at any given establishment.

However, the Taoiseach says there will be more flexibility this time around.

He suggested that's down to greater confidence around the safety of outdoor settings compared to indoor ones, and the Government will now work with the hospitality sector to work out the specifics.

He said: “The very basic advice does apply - it’s fairly logical in terms of what we should do. We all know being in a very congregated setting is far more dangerous than a more spacious setting.

“Common sense will have to prevail here - there is an obligation on the owners of the premises, but also ourselves as individuals.

"I think consumers will make decisions themselves on how they eat out and drink outdoors.”

Asked specifically when people might be able to enjoy a pint indoors, Mr Martin said it "may be possible" towards the end of July - although stressed he didn't want to nail his colours to the mast on an exact date.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach acknowledged the ongoing restrictions around wedding sizes are "awful".

He said the size allowed at receptions will be increased from six to 25 in June, and he hopes they'll be able to go beyond that later in the summer.

However, he noted that the early stages of the pandemic showed wedding parties could be "super-spreader" events.


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