The sports Minister says he expects full capacity crowds at the GAA national league and Ireland’s Six Nations opening fixtures.
Jack Chambers says he is optimistic that covid restrictions will be lifted in time to allow spectators at full capacity for the games in Croke Park in 10 days time and at the Aviva on 5 February.
NPHET meets on Thursday against a backdrop of falling covid case numbers and calls for a fast reopening of society.
Minister Chambers says he expects a decision within days.
“All the epidemiological data points to a much-reduced impact on our health system.
We have a structure and a process around decision-making. It will happen in the next 2-3 days. Obviously, NPHET meet on Thursday and the Government will be able to give a signal about what’s possible.
I think there is optimism within Government.”
The easing of restrictions might come too late for Carlow’s senior footballers as they get their National Football League campaign started against London on Friday week.
Kilkenny and Carlow’s senior hurlers will be in action from the first weekend of February with the National Camogie Leagues also getting underway at the same time.
Ireland’s Six Nations campaign also gets underway on 5 February with the visit of Wales to the Aviva for a 2.15pm kick-off.
Limits on attendances at games are still capped at 50% of venue capacity or 5,000, whichever is lower.