Newly published figures on Covid cases in outdoor settings have given Tipperary businesses greater confidence ahead of a summer reopening.
However, there remains plenty of caution about any potential easing of outdoor restrictions in the county.
This week, figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, reported by the Irish Times, found that 0.1 percent of Ireland’s Covid cases have been traced back to outdoor transmission.
Caution has been voiced on the figures by health officials, but the data has prompted a greater debate about whether the easing of outdoor restrictions can be fast-tracked.
Mairéad Ryan of Paddy’s Bar and Restaurant in Terryglass, says the figures offer confidence and thinks the re-introduction of outdoor dining should be considered for next month.
“This has given us a boost and I think it behoves all of us to sit down and see what we can work with now on this one because outdoor is certainly an option.”
At nearby Kilgarvan Quay on Lough Derg, Becky McKenna runs Lough Derg Water Sports which includes the rollout of summer camps for kids.
She’s pleased by the new data, but thinks that caution is still needed before any rethink of outdoor restrictions.
“I think it’s really important that we take our time with it. I know everybody is getting extremely frustrated but this rollout is only really started with the vaccine. I’m eager to get out and about working again of course and I’ll be doing everything within the guidelines.”
Further south, Con Traas of The Apple Farm near Cahir plans to reopen his campsite at the end of this month.
He’s already experiencing huge interest from domestic tourists for the summer ahead.
“They’re going to have to try to figure out how the various bits of the jigsaw fit together and what will make it safe and what doesn’t so people being outdoor here will be safe.”
“But if they come here by train or plane or something like that then that’s obviously not going to be so safe.”