Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has branded Monday a “day of hope and freedom” following the partial easing of lockdown restrictions.
A number of businesses have been able to resume service. But much of Ireland’s society – including hotels, pubs and restaurants – will remain closed until June at the earliest. BBC News has the story.
The Republic had been at the highest level of restrictions – level five – since Christmas.
But close-contact services, such as hairdressers, are now reopening and click-and-collect retail has resumed.
People are now also able to travel across the country.
They can move outside their own county for the first time in more than four months. Sports training can also resume.
Mr Varadkar told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme on Monday that 12,000 businesses were due to reopen this week and 100,000 people could return to work.
He said the current financial support for businesses would be in place until the end of June…
The easing of restrictions in the Republic of Ireland is part of a phased relaxation of the country’s strict Covid lockdown announced by Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin in April.
Libraries, museums, galleries and other cultural attractions are also opening…
The measures permit people to travel for non-essential journeys outside their county and up to 50 people can attend weddings, funerals and other religious services.
Three households, or a group of six people, can meet outdoors, including in private gardens, and a vaccinated household can meet an unvaccinated one indoors.
Some dates have been laid out for when (“all being well”!) lockdown restrictions will further ease.
From May 17th, all non-essential shops in the Republic of Ireland can reopen to customers.
From June 2nd, hotels, guest houses and self-catering accommodation will be permitted to trade.
All pubs, regardless of whether they serve food, along with restaurants can open for outdoor service on June 7th.
The summer relaxation is premised on containing new variants and accelerating a vaccination programme that is well behind Northern Ireland’s.
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