Further relaxation of restrictions expected after Holohan’s support for music festivals
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said he would have no worries about continuing an event like the electric picnic if it were restricted to fully vaccinated people, with pressure now mounting on the government to further ease restrictions.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is due to meet on Wednesday, after which it will give advice to the government before the plan for the next phase of reopening is announced in the coming days.
But Dr Holohan gave a strong indication that Nphet would approve plans to reopen later, saying he was “optimistic” the country would be able to move from some current restrictions “in the near term”.
However, he warned that the next phase of the reopening would only be safe for people who had been vaccinated, and suggested that unvaccinated people should not be allowed to attend events such as the All- football final. Ireland.
Government sources expressed surprise at Dr Holohan’s comments, with one noting that the government had not received any such notice from Nphet. “Let’s see what Nphet is saying today,” a source told the Irish Times.
Others noted that Dr Holohan’s comments would likely persuade young people to sign up for the vaccine.
A government spokesperson said Dr Holohan’s comments were “noted,” adding: “The government will soon release its roadmap for managing Covid-19 in the coming months. Nphet will provide the final public advice this week, before the cabinet subcommittee and Cabinet agree on next steps. “
Dr Holohan’s comments will encourage players in the live events industry who are campaigning for the reopening of their industry.
Melvin Benn of Festival Republic, the promoters of Electric Picnic, has called for the festival to continue.
He said: “We call on Laois County Council to immediately reverse the decision it took to deny the license and grant it immediately, in accordance with the terms of the CMO: that everyone present be vaccinated, exactly. as we said a month ago.
‘Tell us tomorrow and we’re on our way’: EP organ …
“What a stepping stone to the future that could be. Change the decision of the Departmental Council of Laois and let’s have a picnic. Tell us tomorrow and we’re on our way.
Culture and Arts Minister Catherine Martin was scheduled to meet with stakeholders on Wednesday, but that has now been postponed to Monday, to allow Taoiseach and Tánaiste to attend.
At a similar meeting last week, the minister expressed her “disappointment” that her plan to reopen the area was not approved by Cabinet.
A spokesperson for Ms. Martin said the government would soon decide on a “clear roadmap for the sustainable reopening of activities in the performing arts, culture and the arts”.