Government announce introduction of pilot events to ease return of large scale gatherings

people sitting on red gang chairs
Photo by J Meredith on Unsplash

TRANSPORT Minister Eamonn Ryan is optimistic that live sporting events will be able to return by the end of summer with crowds of up to 30,000 allowed to attend the National football and hurling finals, subject to health guidelines. 

According to a government release detailing plans for ‘The Path Ahead’ the month of June will see considerations being made for ‘high risk activities’ such as mass gatherings and international travel.

Catherine Martin, Minister Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, has said that the government plans to schedule the return of live events with the reintroduction of smaller ‘pilot’ sporting and music events starting as early as June. These smaller events will serve as a trial for the reintroduction of larger scale live events.

Minister Martin said I am keen to conduct pilot events indoor and outdoor as soon as possible”

“The pilot events have seen success in Liverpool with a trial concert in Sefton Park. The event, ran by Festival Republic, hosted 5,000 individuals in an outdoor setting without face masks and distancing restrictions.”

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She continued  “I would like to see some of these events happen in June. I’m keen to make that happen in June. I know July was mentioned but I’m keen to have these pilot events done by June”

Theatres and cinemas are also set to reopen in the coming month with an emphasis on the entertainment industry getting up and running since it’s closure last March.

The Minister for tourism said “I’m compiling a list of a number of live events across the country to cover a variety of music genres from rock to classical, and also comedy and theatre, indoors and outdoors.”

These live events will see attendee numbers remain under 5 per cent venue capacity with a gradual increase over the summer following public health guidelines. 

Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Holohan has stated that there is a “possibility of a return to music audiences and sports spectators” given the decline in the spread of the virus in recent weeks.

He continued “If we can continue to see the progress we are making in May – and today is just day one – and if we get to the end of May we can reintroduce measures in June such as outdoor activity, hotel and other accommodation”,

Further details are to be announced on Friday following a cabinet meeting to discuss a more detailed plan for the reopening of live events, international travel and indoor hospitality before the end of July.