Parts of hospitality could re-open in June

Significant parts of the hospitality sector could re-open in June under plans being considered by the government today.

The cabinet sub-committee on Covid will meet this evening to discuss re-opening plans for the next few months.

NPHET will meet this morning to consider the Covid situation and prepare advice on what restrictions they think it's safe to lift in May.

The restrictions likely to ease in May have been well flagged:

The return of non-essential retail starting with click and collect; personal services like barbers, hairdressers and beauticians; and the full return of construction.

Museums, galleries and libraries are also likely to open in May, while religious services like mass could resume as early as next week.

The government is also examining a range of outdoor activities including non-contact training for adults and allowing more households to meet up outdoors.

Plans for June will also be drawn up with the expected return of domestic tourism through the opening of hotels, b&bs and guesthouses.

At Fianna Fáil's parliamentary party meeting last night there was a push to ensure pubs and restaurants could open in some form, with no distinction between wet pubs and gastropubs.

It's expected inter-county travel may also be allowed to return in June.

Sources at the meeting said the Taoiseach was generally supportive, but non-committal on dates - saying they have to get the balance right on hospitality.

NPHET will meet this morning to consider the situation before advising a team of senior Ministers at the cabinet COVID sub-committee this evening.

The final sign off will be done by the full cabinet tomorrow.