Covid-19 restrictions Ireland: Sport events could return to full capacity this weekend

Munster fans at Thomond Park (Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy)

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The cap on spectator capacity at sporting events could be lifted as soon as this weekend, with Micheal Martin set to address the nation later today.

NPHET have offered no objections to the unwinding of regulations brought in last month in response to the marked rise in Covid-19 cases.

Attendance at outdoor sporting events has been limited to 50% of capacity or a maximum of 5,000 spectators, while indoor events have been limited to 1,000 spectators.

But full capacity crowds could return this weekend, with Munster's Champions Cup clash against Wasps at Thomond Park on Sunday among the fixtures that could benefit.

There are also a number of pre-season GAA tournament finals taking place, which could now also be played in full stadiums.

Dublin face Laois in the O'Byrne Cup final on Saturday, with Donegal and Monaghan clashing in the McKenna Cup decider on the same day.

Meanwhile, the All-Ireland Hurling Club Championship semi-finals also take place as Ballygunner face Slaughtneil and St Thomas take on Ballyhale Shamrocks.

The three coalition leaders will meet at midday today to discuss what action to take ahead of the meeting of the cabinet at 3pm.

It is expected that the outcome of the meetings will be to remove the current restrictions and leave it to the relevant sporting bodies to decide on appropriate capacity.

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