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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

When will life be back to normal? Hopefully pretty soon, according to Leo Varadkar


by Sarah Finnan
06th May 2021
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When will life be back to normal? The question we'd all love to know the answer to. Providing a glimmer of hope that life could be as good as normal (or as close to it as possible) by August time, Leo Varadkar said that he hopes to see the “vast majority” of restrictions gone by then.

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin yesterday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that he is hopeful life will be “relatively normal” again by August time. “I think we have to get through another winter to be sure, but I do think life will pretty much be back to normal by August”, he said. 

However, that begs the question… what exactly constitutes “normal” these days? Several restrictions are set to be eased in the coming weeks – including those pertaining to intercounty travel, retail and hospitality – but it’s unlikely that mass gatherings and international travel will be allowed to resume by the end of summer. 

Looking at what the public health situation is like a little further afield, normality seems to have returned in countries such as the UK and Israel. Both slightly ahead in terms of their vaccination rollouts, Varadkar said that he’s optimistic Ireland will be in a similar position in just a few months time. 

“Life in Israel is pretty much back to normal. They’re welcoming tourists again and they’re having, not very large gatherings, but they are having mass gatherings. They have got to that point where we would expect to be by August. 

“So, I’m hopeful that that’s the month when things are relatively normal again. That doesn’t mean that everything will be the same, but the vast majority of restrictions you would hope to see gone by August of this year.”

Outdoor dining is expected to resume from June 7 with the Tánaiste also providing some encouragement with respect to the possibility of indoor dining returning soon after. “Cases are stable, hospitalisations, ICU are falling and every day, tens of thousands more people are vaccinated, so, you know if I was in hospitality business I’d be planning for outdoors in June and indoors in July – subject to all the usual caveats,” he commented.

As for sporting events, Taoiseach Michéal Martin previously told Newstalk that he’d love for spectators to be permitted at matches from July, confirming that the government is considering several different options regarding how best to do so. 

Careful to warn that nothing should be taken as gospel, Varadkar said that there are still a number of things that can’t be accounted for given the changing nature of the virus. Stating that the goal is to have a “pretty normal Christmas in terms of seeing our friends and our relations”, that cautioned that it’s impossible to plan that far ahead as “we don’t know what will happen when the winter comes”.

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