Government is working on a proposal to have a "double bank holiday" for St Patrick's Day this year and a new bank holiday for St Brigid’s Day on 1 February, according to the Tánaiste.

Leo Varadkar said the purpose of the day would be to remember all of those who died during the Covid-19 pandemic and to recognise frontline workers.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Mr Varadkar said the Government aims for the St Brigid’s Day bank holiday to be permanent and to take effect in 2023.

"It just seems that it's too early to make a decision on that given that it (the pandemic) is not yet over," he said.

While speaking on the programme, Mr Varadkar also said that he would like to see the relaxation of close contact rules to happen, adding that the Government has asked the Chief Medical Officer to consider it.

Last year, the Government had hoped to introduce a bank holiday before the end of the year.

Ireland currently has nine bank holidays a year, one of the lowest numbers in Europe.