The Government are set to announce plans that mass gatherings of 5,000 people or more sill be banned until September 1, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Irish Times, local authorities will be told not to grant licences for large events in this period. It is understood the decision was taken by Ministers at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday with the decision meaning that major sports fixtures will have to be rearranged.
The Government have said in a statement that it would give further advice before the end of the current restrictions on May 5th.
“However, there are a number of largescale future events which require licensing and the involvement of the HSE and Garda Síochána, and public consultation in that licensing process which fall to be determined in advance of that by local authorities.”
“While the issue of restrictions on future mass gatherings is a decision to be taken by the NPHET, in the case of these particular events, and taking account of the impacts on the integrity of the licensing process in the short-term due to restrictions on stakeholder involvement, local authorities have been advised by Government that event promoters should be informed that events requiring licences in excess of 5,000 will not be considered for the period up to the end of August.”
Mass gatherings were first restricted in the State on March 12th after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that indoor gatherings of more than 100 people should be cancelled as well as outdoor gatherings of 500 people or more before all mass gatherings were suspended on March 24th.
The news comes as a further blow to local sport after Health Minister Simon Harris said on Sunday that the likelihood of mass gatherings taking place this year was highly unlikely.
“It’s highly unlikely we’re going to be seeing very large kind of mass gatherings this year. Could you get to a point where you can’t have massive GAA matches, but you could have local kids having a kickabout safely, that’s the sort of space that we’re in, that we need to work our way through.”