The Government has moved to bring forward the 500-spectator limit at venues with a capacity of 5,000 or more.

The new directive, due to commence from Monday 5 July, has been brought forward by two days to Saturday.

It means that 300 supporters more than expected - 500 instead of 200 - will be able to attend intriguing GAA championship clashes such as Tipperary v Clare in the Munster SHC at the LIT Gaelic Grounds, and the Leinster SFC meeting of Laois and Westmeath in Tullamore.

In the League of Ireland, the Premier Division clash between Longford Town and Sligo Rovers at Bishopsgate - which holds just over 5,000 - will welcome in the extra support.

In the Airtricity Women's National League, Cork City v Bohs at Turner's Cross and the Eamonn Deacy Park collision between Galway United and DLR Waves can also allow up to 500 spectators to attend.

County and provincial GAA officials spent the past two days waiting to see if the Government would bring forward the attendance increase.

After listening to representations, and in acknowledgement of the 20 upcoming senior inter-county fixtures this weekend, Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers this morning decided to bring that increase forward to cater for this busy weekend programme of games.

Meanwhile, it is hoped that at least one of this weekend's GAA games could yet be added to the list of test events.

This weekend’s Leinster SHC semi-finals will be played in front of the biggest crowd for a sport event since the pandemic started here. Croke Park will open its gates to 8,000 fans for Saturday's double bill of Dublin's clash with Galway (2pm) and Wexford's battle against Kilkenny (4.30pm).

Ticketing details have yet to be released but sources in the counties involved in the semi-final ties expect to receive in the region of 1,600 tickets each as Croke Park operates just shy of 10% of its full capacity.

One source said it was important that players, families and clubs would be prioritised by the counties in their allocation of tickets.

Along with that double-header, the Cork v Limerick Munster SHC showdown is also a test event. Another pilot event will see 1,049 people attend the Connacht SFC semi-final between Roscommon and Galway at Dr Hyde Park on Sunday.