Tánaiste Leo Varadkar "increasingly confident" indoor dining and pubs will open by July
He said the government will begin planning to reopen hospitality at the end of this month.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he is "increasingly confident" that indoor dining and pubs will be able to reopen by July.
Speaking at a press conference outside Government Buildings on Thursday, Varadkar said that although outdoor dining is evidently safer, he "hopes to get to the point where both would be possible."
He said a phased reopening of the economy will begin in May and the government will have a plan at the end of the month to outline the easing of restrictions throughout the summer.
When asked if pubs and restaurants will be included in that plan, the Tanáiste said: “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.
“We’ve no detail on that yet, but it is evident and increasingly evident that outdoor dining is much safer than indoor.
“But you know, I’d hope to get to the point where both would be possible, and you know I’m increasingly confident that both would be possible over the course of the summer but I don’t want to raise expectation either and give false hope and really it’ll be the end of April before we’re in a position to do that again.”
Varadkar also confirmed that non-essential retail and personal services such as hair salons will reopen next month.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland earlier in the day, he said that the government is planning a phased reopening of these services, beginning in May.
"So what we will do in two weeks' time, so the end of April, we will look at the plan for May," he said.
"What we're planning is allowing more outdoor activities, a phase three reopening of retail, and of personal services.
"I’m not saying the 4th of May, that’s unlikely, but over the course of the month of May there'll be a phased reopening of personal services including hairdressers and barbers."