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10th Feb 2021

It could be “some time next year” before we see mass gatherings at Croke Park or the Aviva Stadium

James Fenton

It could be “some time next year” before we see mass gatherings in the likes of Croke Park or the Aviva Stadium, according to An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Irish Times, Varadkar spoke about how he sees the pandemic playing out for the rest of the year and into 2022. He predicted that “there will be some form of restrictions at least until the end of the year if not well into next year. I don’t see mass gatherings happening, I don’t see people filling stadiums and things like that, at least until we have 70 or 80 per cent of the population vaccinated,” adding: “it will be some time next year before we will see full houses again in Croke Park or the Aviva Stadium.”

On a positive note, Varadkar said that “My best guess is that we’ll have a relatively normal summer in that the shops will be open, personal services will be open and domestic tourism will be a real possibility.”

Adding a note of caution about next winter, Varadkar said: “There is still a worry about next winter because it does seem there’s a seasonal element to this virus. People are indoors more and you’re 20 times more likely to get it indoors than out.

An Tánaiste said yesterday that a modified Living with Covid plan is being worked on and could become public knowledge within two weeks.

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