Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has stated that he does not believe that a set vaccination rate will be necessary in order for the country to fully reopen.
With the state heading towards a vaccination rate of over 90% for over 16s, Donnelly said that a particular figure is not necessary to ease restrictions.
The Cabinet Covid Committee will be meeting today to discuss the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and the pace at which it will be achieved.
As he arrived at Government Buildings for today’s meeting, Donnelly told reporters, “I don’t think we need to get up on a particular figure – be it 90%, 87%, 93% – we’re getting there”. He added, “As always, we want everything to open up as quickly as possible, but it has to be done safely.”
Meanwhile, the government have promised to release a roadmap that will set out a timeline for the easing of the remaining restrictions.
The timeline will include limits on live events, religious services and exercise classes. A Cabinet meeting will take place on Tuesday to sign off on the new roadmap.
Ministers will be considering a recommendation from NPHET that no further easing of restrictions should take place until 90% of over 16s are fully vaccinated, which would take approximately six weeks.
Minister for Arts Catherine Martin has stated that she would like to see the easing of restrictions for musicians by September.
“I want to see an easing of restrictions in September for our musicians, for our artists. I believe they’ve waited long enough, and I want to see them getting back performing and doing what they do best and earning a living again,”.
She added that she will be exploring all options to facilitate the return of indoor events while stating that a capacity of 80% is more important in order for the events to be more viable.
She will also be exploring all possible options for the return of Electric Picnic, noting that there was a planning issue but would like to see what can be done to allow the festival to go ahead.