“If not now, then when?”
Kieran Cuddihy can’t understand why Ireland is such an outlier when it comes to the easing of Covid restrictions.
There is split opinion at Cabinet over the resumption of live events as Senior Ministers meet this afternoon.
The Sub-Committee on COVID has been getting an update from health officials on the spread of the virus at the meeting.
Arts Minister Catherine Martin was denied a seat at the table for this morning’s sub-committee meeting despite requesting to attend to make the case for the resumption of large-scale live events.
Ministers have promised a roadmap by the end of this month; however, it’s now likely that will see few restrictions eased in September.
Some health officials are split on the thinking.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Maynooth University Immunology Professor Paul Moynagh said there’s no point in delaying reopening any further.
He noted that Ireland’s high vaccination rate means things are now likely to be “as good as they are going to get” with little chance of an improvement in the autumn.
Also on the show, NPHET member Dr Mary Favier said a cautious approach is best:
“Undoubtedly we need to find ways to phase ourselves out of the COVID pandemic,” she said.
“But it needs to be phased, it needs to be structured and it needs to be based on the evidence.
“That will happen and what we do over the next number of weeks will have a very significant impact on that so it is caution but a long-term optimistic future.”
There is also pressure within Government for live events – including from the likes of Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne.
“We have got to provide a very clear roadmap with dates for the opening of the arts and entertainment sector,” he told Newstalk.
Government sources say no big decisions on reopening will be made today, with more meetings to come next week.