THE IRISH public are set to receive a new bank holiday in recognition of the heroes and victims of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The introduction of a new bank holiday had been planned since the early days of the pandemic, with The Irish Post first reporting on the plans in May 2020.
Then-Minister for Health Simon Harris, in an interview with The Journal, said at the time that he was open to the idea of adding a new holiday "to recognise all that people have been through and sacrificed, that people might be able to enjoy with their family and friends".
Now The Irish Examiner reports that these plans are "at an advanced stage", with a date expected to be announced next month.
While the new bank holiday could be introduced as soon as November of this year, a senior Government source told the outlet it could be pushed back until spring of 2022.
The bank holiday will recognise the relentless work of those on the frontline throughout the pandemic, and will also remember those who sadly lost their lives to the virus.
The official announcement on the new bank holiday could come on Budget day or shortly afterwards, the source suggested.
The new bank holiday will be welcomed by the public, who have spent more than a year and a half under restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, and will bring the number of public holidays in Ireland to 10-- still one of the lowest in Europe.
It will also be a welcome boost to the economy, particularly tourism, which has suffered greatly since the pandemic began in March 2020.
More information on the planned new bank holiday is expected in the coming weeks.