Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

14.31 5 May 2021


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The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he hopes life can return to relative normality by August.

He said he believes the vast majority of restrictions will be lifted by then.

However some restrictions on international travel and mass gatherings may remain in place longer than that.

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But Mr Varadkar hopes life as normal can make a significant comeback.

"I'm hoping that that's the month when things are relatively normal again.

"That doesn't mean that everything will be the same - but the vast majority of restrictions you would hope to see gone by August of this year.

"Kids going back to school as normal in September, college happening on campus in September/October - all those things.

"And then a pretty normal Christmas in terms of seeing our friends and relations".

It comes as businesses in Dublin's Temple Bar are putting forward a new plan to seat up to 3,000 diners outside the area's pubs and restaurants.

Under the plan, customers would be seated on 17 streets across the city’s ‘cultural quarter.’

Pedestrian squares, loading bays, road and path space would all be opened up to diners.

Meanwhile speaking on Newstalk on Tuesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he is hopeful spectators will be allowed back at sporting events from July.

He said the Government was considering several different options for matches and other fixtures.

"So we will be trialing some events - I think you're probably looking at July.

"The Government is working up plans now and over the next number of weeks towards that end", he said.

Asked if people would have to be vaccinated to attend a sporting event, Mr Martin said: "I noticed in the UK they've done both vax and non-vaccinated people coming in, segregating them, so we will look at different options in that regard.

"There are issues around that, too, in terms of people's entitlements and rights and so on.

"But initially we'd like to trial it and get that right, and then hopefully be in a position to evolve in terms of fans being able to turn up and spectators turning up and different fixtures and different sporting events".

He added that other facilities, such as swimming pools, will be opening in June.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann

Main image: Tanaiste Leo Varadkar speaking to media in the Department of Health on the introduction of minimum unit pricing of alcohol. Picture by: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

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