Home News BREAKING: Taoiseach announces acceleration of roadmap for reopening of Ireland

BREAKING: Taoiseach announces acceleration of roadmap for reopening of Ireland

The Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business to ease the COVID-19 restrictions and reopen Ireland’s economy and society in a phased manner will enter Phase 2 on Monday.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed the progression and also announced that the plan would be accelerated.

Now, instead of five phases, we will have four phases.

Phase 3 will hopefully begin on June 29 and Phase 4 will be on July 20.

The plan, which originally set out five stages for unlocking restrictions at three week intervals, was originally published on May 1.

In Phase 2, which begins on Monday June 8, the travel restrictions of 5km from your home are now extended to 20km – or anywhere within own county. And all travel restrictions will be lifted on June 29.

Below, we will break down the various changes that will take place:

Human Behaviour 

Stay at home

The advice will be to still avoid unnecessary journeys wherever possible. You will be able to travel up to 20 kilometres away from your home as opposed to the 5 kilometre limit which was in place since 5 May.

Social visits

Up to 6 people may visit another household for a short period of time but everyone must keep at least 2 metres apart from people they don’t live with.

Cocooning

Shops will provide dedicated hours for those who are cocooning (people over the age of 70 and those who are medically vulnerable) with strict social distancing and gloves made available. Shoppers should ideally wear face coverings.

Those who are cocooning can have a small number of visitors to their home. The visitors must wear gloves, face coverings and keep at least 2 metres away from the person who is cocooning.

Funerals

A slightly larger number of people can be in attendance at funerals but numbers will still be restricted to immediate family and close friends and limited to a maximum number of mourners – 25 – for a limited period of time where social distancing can be maintained.

Work

People who can work safely while maintaining a 2-metre distance from others

Workers, like those who work on their own, as well as other workers who can keep a 2 metre distance from others can return to work. Social distancing requirements continue to apply.

Plans to be put in place by employers and the government

Organisations are to develop plans for a return to onsite working by employees in light of COVID-19, considering:

  • social distancing compliance
  • hygiene and cleaning
  • compliance in higher risk situations
  • plans for medically vulnerable or pregnant people
  • extended opening hours to enable social distancing

Remote Working

Remote working is to continue for all workers or businesses that can currently do so.

Shops and other commercial businesses

Shops that can reopen

All shops can open from Monday. It is important the opening of shops should not cause overcrowding, says the Taoiseach.

Shops will have to open with staggered hours. Shopping malls can open from 15 June.

Marts

Marts can be opened where social distancing can be maintained.

Sport, tourism and culture

Libraries

Public libraries may open so long as the numbers allowed in are limited, social distancing is observed and there is strict hand-sanitising in place for anyone who goes into the library.

Group exercise

People can take part in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, involving team sports training in small groups (but not matches) where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact. Groups of up to 15 can meet for outdoor sport.

Playgrounds and summer camp

Playgrounds can reopen on Monday while Summer Camps where no more than 15 people are in contact, can now take place.

Hotels and bars

Hotels and bars can now reopen on June 29. Bars can reopen only if they serve food – so they must provide table service.

Churches 

Churches and places of worship will be permitted to open on June 29 for Phase 3.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.