Being able to enjoy a pint and a meal back in your local pub by mid-summer will be possible, the Government has stated.
Plans to allow hospitality, both indoor and outdoor, to re-open in June or July will be published by the end of the month, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said.
He said he is “increasingly confident” that it will be possible that both indoor and outdoor dining will be possible by July.
Speaking at a press conference in Dublin, Mr Varadkar said provided the country keeps going in the right direction, the Cabinet will not only set out what restrictions will be eased across May, but will set out in a revised plan as to what June and July might look like.
“We would expect to be in a position at the end of April to give an indication as to how hospitality might reopen across the course of June or July.
"And, you know, I'm increasingly confident that it will be possible,” he said.
In relation to the hotel quarantine issue, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan revealed that 98 people in the past week arrived without booking their hotel rooms in advance.
Of those, 50 transferred from another country before arrival, 29 arrived without PCR test and 19 arrived on direct flights, according to Government figures.
Mr Varadkar said he had not heard any talk of anyone being deported even if they don’t have a hotel booking.
Mr Ryan revealed that just 12 passengers arrived into Ireland on five flights from the United States yesterday morning.
He said in total the number of passengers arriving into Ireland are very small, with about 12,000 passengers arriving last week.
Mr Varadkar said the Government will not require a legal basis to put people who refuse to take the AstraZeneca vaccine to the back of the queue.
“I don't think requires a legal basis. The way it works is people are offered a vaccine. Nobody gets to choose which vaccine they get. And people are free to accept or decline the vaccine they're offered. But if they decline their vaccine, it's not possible for us to say, when they'd be offered a vaccine again, or whether it'd be the same vaccine type or a different one,” he said.
Mr Varadkar also said that EU plans to develop a vaccine passport or certificate will facilitate a return to travel within the European Union in a matter of months. He said the Government has not yet made a decision as to whether such a certification of vaccination could be used to access services within the State.
“We haven't made a decision yet as to whether we would use that to access certain services within the State. That is what Israel has done, it's what Denmark is considering doing. We’d like to see how it works out there before we go down that route ourselves. It's not a bad idea, but it is fraught with complications,” he said.