Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he is increasingly confident that indoor dining will be possible over the course of the summer.

Mr Varadkar has said that Government expects to be able to give an indication at the end of April about how the hospitality sector can reopen across June and July.

However, he added that he did not want to give false hope, adding that there would be no further detail revealed by the Government until the end of April.

Earlier, the Tánaiste said the Government is on track to ease restrictions on 4 May, adding that he is confident over 80% of people will have been offered a vaccine by June.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland programme, Mr Varadkar said all decisions are based on four elements: the vaccines, the variants, virus case numbers, and how hospitals are coping.

He said the Government will consider allowing more outdoor activity and a return to Level 3 restrictions in May, with retail and personal services, such as hairdressing and barbers, gradually reopening during the month.

At the end of April, the Government intends to develop a plan for June and July, which he said is "looking good" but depends on the four deciding factors.

He said the Government has had to change the vaccine programme 25 times due to decisions by the European Medicines Agency, by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, or supply issues and more changes may happen yet.

He said that the Health Service Executive, GPs, vaccinators and volunteers have all proven to be agile in the delivery of the programme.

Mr Varadkar said people should not lose sight of the fact that cases are stable and falling, the Reproductive 'R' number is below one, people can go beyond 5km, and children are back in school.

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The Tánaiste also defended the safety profile of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He said those in the age group 60-65 are 85 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than to experience a serious side effect from a vaccine, and those aged 55-59 are 48 times more likely to die from the virus than a rare side effect.

Mr Varadkar said "they are pretty good odds" and that "the best vaccine is the one that is offered to you".

If someone refused a vaccine it will not be offered again until after July, he added.

Mr Varadkar said those who have received a first dose of AstraZeneca will receive a second dose of the same vaccine and second appointments will go ahead, adding that many of these are high-risk patients.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government may look at rural variations when it comes to opening up but said a national approach is preferred.

Speaking to Virgin Media's Tonight Show, Mr Martin said the Government will be in a position to ease restrictions in the coming weeks.

He said Irish people have made good progress and have taken on public health advice but need a break.

Mr Martin said the public can look forward with some degree of confidence but must remain vigilant.