Minister Simon Coveney defended the 40,000 in attendance at Croke Park today for the All-Ireland hurling senior final as restrictions have yet to be relaxed for the entertainment industry and live events.
culminating on RTÉ Radio One, Minister Coveney said there was a “big difference” between all of Ireland’s last day and entertainment events.
“There is a big difference, it’s outside, it’s structured, it’s in a very large stadium. People will be separated in terms of social distancing and wearing masks, ”he said.
“We’ve been working with sports organizations to put a protocol in place to allow big events like this to happen, but happen in a controlled and managed way and that’s what will happen in Croke Park today. ‘hui.
“And I hope it will be a very special day, it will definitely be for the people of Cork and Limerick.”
He continued; “But I hope this is also a signal and an indication that we can live with Covid-19 and, despite the risk, we can organize big events.
“But we have to do it in a managed, careful and structured way.
“This is the first time in a very long time that this number of people will be in one place.”
The minister will travel to Croke Park to cheer on his home county and said it was a “privilege” to attend the game.
“As a person from Cork, it is a privilege to be there as there are several thousand people from Cork who are listening to this who wish to have a ticket and unfortunately that is not the case,” he said. -he declares.
Speaking of Covid-19, Mr Coveney expressed concern about the growing number of people hospitalized with Covid-19.
As of this morning, there are currently 314 people in hospitals across the country with the disease.
“I think we are already concerned and that is why the government is cautious.
“I know there is a tremendous amount of frustration and impatience among the public who want to see the remaining restrictions lifted.
“The reason we are cautious, and the Cabinet subcommittee meets regularly to present proposals for Cabinet consideration, is that for several days now, the number of people who have tested positive is well over 2,000.
“We have now seen the number of hospitals over 300 and the ICU numbers over 50, so the Delta variant is dangerous, it is spreading.
“We have a much stronger shield to protect the public now than ever, over 90% of adults are now vaccinated in Ireland,” he added.
When asked if the growing number of cases would cause further delays in reopening the arts industry, he said: “We have said over the next week before the end of this month the government will sign a roadmap for September and through October, so that we can give anyone interested a very clear picture of the times, dates and timing of the removal of the restrictions.
“There are sectors like the live industry and the hospitality industry that are eagerly awaiting this roadmap and they rightly ask for certainties and dates for the future that they can plan for.
“We will give them that certainty before the end of August, it is the government’s commitment.”
The minister added that he suspected that a date in September would mark the reopening of the events industry.