Museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls and other cultural outlets can now reopen on June 29 as part of the revised Phase 3 opening of the country. 

Mass gatherings will be limited to 50 people indoors and 200 people outdoors.  If the presence of the virus remains low, this will rise to 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors in Phase 4.

However it's likely that individual venues will make decisions on reopening based on social distancing guidelines.

The Expert Advisory Group to the Arts Council, which published a report on the future of the sector on Friday morning said that if social distancing is maintained, venues could see their seating  reduced to 15% of normal capacity.

Speaking on the 6:1 News Feargal Hynes of Druid Theatre said the sector gave a 'cautious welcome' to the latest announcement and would now take time to study it in detail. 

Watch: Government confirms accelerated reopening plans

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He said Friday's news was not a 'light switch' moment for the industry because social distancing makes economic viability very difficult but he said any return to normality will be welcomed. He said the freelance community is the backbone of the artistic industry and the sooner the sector can get back to normal the better, to support the industry.

Fergal Hynes said it's extremely important that unemployment and other supports for the sector continue. He said theatre for the rest of 2020 won't look like it did in years gone by but he said the creative industries never been found wanting for creative solutions and the sector will work to see magic return in a safe manner for audiences to enjoy.

On Monday the government announced funding of E25million euro, E20 million of which was directed at the Arts Council, to help the arts industry survive Covid 19. That funding was widely welcomed across the sector. 

The Expert Advisory Group has also recommended the maintenance of wage supports, a review of taxation practice, a capital funding scheme for arts buildings and fair remuneration for artists if they are to recover from the impact of Covid 19. It also recommended a stability fund of E30 million for 2021. 

Meanwhile Theatre Forum, which has been holding meetings with interested parties has published guidelines for the sector as it looks toward reopening.