Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin has said the Government has signalled that cinemas and theatres will reopen in June.

She said she appreciated that people have to plan ahead, so from today artists can return to their places of work in theatres and studios.

She said she was "absolutely keen and determined" to have a number of test events for music and entertainment, inside and outside, in Dublin and elsewhere, and said she had consulted with those who run festivals as well as the Departments of Health and the Taoiseach.

She said outdoor test events would happen in July at the latest, but her ambition was that they could happen in June.

Ms Martin also said she hopes to announce more detail on the holding of pilot live events later this month.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, she said she hopes that these events "ranging from events with a few thousand people" to smaller events can be planned for June.

She also said she hopes that cinemas and theatres will be able to open from June, and a specific date for reopening will be decided "shortly", adding that businesses in the sector would receive advance notice.

She described today’s reopening as a "glorious reawakening of the arts and culture sector", and said antigen testing "will play a part and can play a pivotal role" for live events.

"They can be viewed as an additional layer of health and safety to make sure we get through these events".

It comes as museums, galleries, and libraries around the country reopened their doors to the public from today as a further easing of coronavirus restrictions take place.

Many facilities are asking people to pre-book, even if there is no entrance fee, to make sure attendees are spaced out and can socially distance.

Shows opening this week include New Perspectives at the National Gallery of Ireland, which is comprised of acquisitions made by the gallery between 2011 and 2020.

Also opening today are the National Archives.

Meanwhile, public libraries across the country are looking forward to welcoming customers back through their doors.

In Dublin, 16 city libraries will be open for browsing and borrowing with the remaining open for call and collect services. However at this stage there will be no seats available for reading or studying.

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Elsewhere in the country, users are advised to check their local branches for details, with Libraries Ireland saying each authority will have its own plan depending on branch and resources available.

However, the national inter-library loan service will be back in operation, meaning members can browse 12 million items online, reserve and collect at their local branch.

A number of heritage sites also reopened today with others following in the coming weeks.

Among the sites reopening today are Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, Pearse Cottage, Oldbridge House and Visitor Centre at the Battle of the Boyne site, Dublin Castle State Apartments, Dublin Castle Coach House Gallery and Kilkenny Castle.

On 12 May, Castletown House will open its ground floor for self-guided visits five days a week while on 13 May Doneraile Court will follow suit, while Ross Castle will open for escorted visits on 14 May.

Bryce House on Garinish Island is scheduled to open for escorted self-guided visits on 20 May and Rathfarnham Castle on 24 May.