Arts Minister Catherine Martin has said her focus is on keeping the arts sector open, and that nothing else is up for discussion despite the recent rise in Covid figures.

The Minister was speaking at the launch of Culture Ireland's new strategy, designed to promote Irish arts world wide.

She said the arts sector has proved it can open in a safe way and that people are protected by vaccines and immunity. She also said that although masks are not mandatory indoors, audiences at large gatherings could consider wearing them as a show of solidarity with the artists.

Minister Martin said the new Culture Ireland strategy will promote diversity, equality, inclusivity, and the sustainable agenda.

She also said that an announcement on the new Basic Income for Artists scheme is expected 'imminently'.