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Eamon Ryan: Indoor dining may not open until August

Green Party Climate Minister Eamon Ryan has indicated that indoor dining may not fully open until August, beyond the already-delayed 19th of July date previously given.

Speaking this morning, Ryan said that while he expected digital travel certificates to be implemented on July 19th as previously outlined, other elements of re-opening would likely not be permitted until August.

“We’re going to get everyone vaccinated, back dining, able to socialise – it will just take a bit of time,” he said.

“It’s not going to be a huge change, it’s going to be step by step,” he added, and said that Ireland would not be following the swift re-opening seen in the UK.

Moreover, Táinaiste Leo Varadkar stated that, given the NPHET advice on the subject, it would be unlikely that antigen testing would be used as part of the digital certificate for indoor hospitality.

However, just yesterday, Fine Gael deputy leader Minister Simon Coveney said that antigen testing was being considered despite NPHET’s advice, in an apparent contradiction of the Táinaiste’s statement.

Varadkar also expressed worry over the UK’s societal re-opening, saying that it would have an “impact” for Ireland.

“The prospect of packed theatres in the West End and nightclubs being packed to the rafters concerns me to be quite honest,” he said.

“It will have an impact for Ireland.”

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