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What next? Summer reopening plans to see holidays to the UK back on and live events trialled

Outdoor dining, trialled live events and cinema reopening set for June.

Image: Shutterstock/Derick Hudson

WITH HAIRDRESSERS REOPENED, people getting back to sports training and the full reopening of retail set from Monday, it appears to be full steam ahead for the easing of further restrictions at the end of this month.

Next on the agenda are the big ticket items – pubs, restaurants and the return of matches and large entertainment events.

We haven’t had major announcement from the Taoiseach for a few weeks now, but the next ‘big’ announcement on what measures are being lifted is expected to take place in the last week of May – prior to the June bank holiday. 

Just a reminder as to what to expect:

  • On 2 June, hotels, B&Bs, self-catering and hostels are expected to reopen but dining services must be restricted to overnight guests and residents. 
  • Then, from 7 June, restaurants and bars can resume outdoor services with groups limited to six people. 
  • The guidance also changes to advise that visitors from one other household inside your home are welcome.
  • The maximum guests at a wedding reception increases to 25 on this date, and outdoor sports matches can be played, but with no spectators.
  • Gyms, swimming pools, leisure centres can also reopen for individual training only.

In the first week of June the government plans to launch its recovery plan for the country. 

This will include more details and specific dates on the winding down of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) as well as further measures that will be needed to help businesses.

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Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that sectoral guidance and supports for business will be provided at each stage to ensure safe reopening, and there will be no cliff edge in financial supports for businesses.

What else can we expect in June?

Tourism Minister Catherine Martin has already confirmed that work is already well advanced on trialling large sporting and entertainment events, for both indoor and outdoor events.

She told Newstalk during the week that she’s “keen” for test events to start as early as June.

“I’m keen to conduct a number of these events across music, culture, entertainment and sport in both large and small-scale venues. Indoor and outdoor,” the minister said, stating that the events would not only be in Dublin but also in other parts of the country.

The pilot events, similar to those already staged in Barcelona and Liverpool, will be used as test cases for the further unwinding of restrictions.

The events will be staggered across the month and will not be limited to just sports and music, but other live entertainment events also – possibly comedy and theatre events.

Cinemas and theatres are also set to reopen their doors in June, although a date has not been set down yet.

In the coming weeks we will also get more information on indoor hospitality.

The Tánaiste has already indicated that indoor service for restaurants and bars will return in July.

In terms of international travel, as previously flagged by Leo Varadkar, Irish residents are likely to be allowed to travel to Britain on holiday without restrictions as part of a travel bubble plan between Ireland and Britain.

This is likely to happen in mid-June, but could be pushed back until July. 

A memo will also be brought to Cabinet next week on international travel, with a return to travel within the EU earmarked for July or possibly August under the EU’s Green Certificate. 

Following that, over the coming months the government will also reveal its plan for reopening on-campus college education for the new academic year.

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