TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has suggested that summer vacations could be on the cards in Ireland within the next few weeks.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Martin said that towards the end of May, Government will look at the possibility of opening hotels, guest houses and B&Bs in June.
An official decision is set to be made next month, but the Taoiseach's words have led some to believe that staycations might be possible in the near future.
Some are even hoping that a reopening of the hospitality sector means the reopening of pubs can't be far away.
Martin was appearing at the virtual Hospitality & Tourism Expo today, which is addressing issues such as the reopening of businesses during the pandemic and how to combat a skills shortage in the sectors.
The Taoiseach added in his opening message to the event that the Government must ensure that skilled workers are available to drive recovery in hospitality and tourism once restrictions are lifted.
At midnight last night, a number of lockdown restrictions were eased for the first time in over four months. The country has been in full lockdown since December, but limits on travel and outdoor gatherings were eased last night as the country takes its first baby steps into the phased reopening of society.
Inter-county travel is now allowed, as is travelling anywhere within 20km of your home.
Fully vaccinated people are allowed to meeting with one other fully vaccinated person, without the need to wear masks or maintain social distance.
People from up to two households can now meet outdoors, while all students returned to school.
More restrictions are expected to be eased in the coming days and weeks, but the lockdown rules are generally expected to stay until June at the very least.