Taoiseach Michéal Martin has indicated that churches will open for Christmas week Masses.
Speaking to RTÉ, he said that the government was currently looking at Level 3 restrictions with modifications for Christmas week, raising hope that places of worship will be open over the festive period.
“I’ve met with the archbishops on that and of course Christmas has a strong spiritual theme to it, and we will work with all faiths on their particular requirements,” he said.
“I think the churches will be open in Christmas week. We will make decisions towards the end of the month. I did say that we may look at Level 3 with modifications to it and that could apply to worship as well,” he indicated.
The Taoiseach also expressed his hope that a Covid-19 vaccine will be rolled out across the country in the middle of 2021, with vulnerable groups receiving it earlier.
“In priority groups, we are looking at hopefully the first half of 2021, I think you are looking at the middle of 2021 (for non-priority).
“I don’t have precise knowledge of this because a lot depends on clinical trials coming through the regulatory authorities in Europe and the FDA in the US and then going into distribution and the logistics of manufacturing, but some companies are manufacturing in advance,” he explained.