Indoor dining and drinking are to return in July under Government plans, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said.
Responding to calls in the Dáil for a detailed plan as to how large cities will operate this summer, Mr Varadkar said local authorities are providing more bins and public toilets.
“I welcome that. We need more of that from local authorities,” he said.
While outdoor dining and drinking will be allowed from early June, there is now increasing certainty around the return of indoor hospitality earlier than had previously been envisaged.
“As regards gardaí, the budget for the Garda and the number of gardaí have never been higher. We are at record levels in terms of the size of the Garda force and that allows for more outdoor gardaí and a more visible presence through the summer and that will be needed,” he said.
Responding to questions about hotels being allowed to serve indoors from June 2, Mr Varadkar said he knows this is annoying for restaurant owners. However, he expected this disparity would only be in place for a few weeks.
Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly said the public health message was that we would have our summer outdoors and we needed the Government to publish a plan for the summer outdoors which details investment in community-based services for young people as well as an increased Garda presence to keep outside spaces safe.
The Tánaiste also said there was a possibility of all adults being able to apply for a Covid-19 vaccine before the end of June.
This raises the possibility of everyone who wanted a vaccine getting one by July, he said.
He added the Government target remains that 82% of adults would have been fully vaccinated or have gotten a single dose by the end of June.
He also said he expected a decision from Niac on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the coming days, and certainly before Tuesday.