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Ban on alcohol at gigs under consideration in a bid to allow music events resume

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Minister for Arts Catherine Martin are meeting artists today.

Image: Shutterstock/Andrewshots

A BAN ON alcohol at concerts is being considered by the government as a way of allowing gigs to resume during the Covid-19 pandemic.

New proposals that would increase the numbers of people permitted at art and music events, which could include a potential ban on alcohol being served on the premises, is under consideration.

Yesterday, TheJournal.ie reported that the National Campaign for the Arts is to seek clarity on the “specific concerns” from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) regarding live events during a meeting with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Minister for Arts Catherine Martin today.

Martin and Donnelly want to examine what facilities and events can be reopened while keeping within health Covid-19 guidelines.

Currently, a maximum of 50 people indoors is permitted in areas such as museums, cinemas, theatres and art galleries, while all other indoor events have a six-person limit.

Martin is understood to want to address the concerns of those in the arts community affected by current public health guidance and is open to measures that can be put in place to make venues and events safe for artists and audiences alike.

“I’ve arranged the meeting in recognition that effective communication and engagement with the arts community is essential.

“I hope it will assist everyone in developing a better understanding of how we can move forward and strike an appropriate balance between protecting our public health in an effort to ensuring events of greater numbers than current restrictions inside and outside can take place where possible,” she said.

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As other countries such as Italy lift restrictions, concerts and live music events have resumed, with some allowing for socially distanced concerts. 

CNN reports that UK pop-up venue, the Virgin Money Unity Arena, allowed 2,500 fans to gather at the outdoor venue last week. Attendees were placed in pens in line with social distancing rules.

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