Glorious weather and easing of restrictions ... things might be finally looking up

Glorious weather and easing of restrictions ... things might be finally looking up
The Sophie, Alice, Thea and Sam Pearson after waterboarding in the sunshine at Dock beach in Kinsale over the weekendPicture: Eddie O'Hare

AN EXPERT in infectious diseases at Cork University Hospital has said Ireland is on track to continue its reopening and acknowledged there may be some scope for fast-tracking elements of the Government's recovery plan.

Phase two of the Government’s "roadmap" to reopen Ireland and its economy is due to come into effect next Monday.

Most notably this will permit people to travel up to 20km from their homes, enabling them to have more freedom in terms of where they can exercise.

Dion, Christine, Evie and Elijah Soraine enjoying the sunshine at Dock beach in Kinsale over the weekendPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Dion, Christine, Evie and Elijah Soraine enjoying the sunshine at Dock beach in Kinsale over the weekendPicture: Eddie O'Hare

Phase Two will also include the reopening of marts and smaller retail units, subject to social distancing guidelines.

"I think Ireland has done really well in controlling the infection and we need to open up the country for business again," said Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases
Professor Mary Horgan, speaking to The Echo.

Sunseekers at The Lough yesterday.
Sunseekers at The Lough yesterday.

Amid reports the Government is considering easing the Covid-19 travel restrictions sooner than originally stated, Professor Horgan said there may be some scope for fast-tracking the roadmap, provided Covid-19 figures continue to move in the right direction.

Martina Bunce and her children Lily, Kara and Jack from Mourneabbey out for a run and cycle Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Martina Bunce and her children Lily, Kara and Jack from Mourneabbey out for a run and cycle Picture: Eddie O'Hare

She highlighted that "many counties have had no issue with infection in the past week" but stated that "good public health surveillance needs to continue".

Professor Higgins said she is hopeful there will not be a resurgence of Covid-19 figures during the week, as a result of the Bank Holiday.

Enjoying the waves in the sunshine at Garretstown beach over the weekendPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Enjoying the waves in the sunshine at Garretstown beach over the weekendPicture: Eddie O'Hare

"Hopefully there won't be a resurgence in figures. We haven't seen one yet and I think there has been a high level of compliance with the Covid-19 restrictions to date."

However, she urged the public not to become "complacent" about the virus and to seek medical advice if they experience symptoms of Covid-19.

Amid the glorious weather over the weekend, beaches, parks and other local amenities were busy with people, with large crowds at The Lough yesterday afternoon.

Splashing around in the sunshine at Garretstown beach over the weekendPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Splashing around in the sunshine at Garretstown beach over the weekendPicture: Eddie O'Hare

In West Cork, popular spots such Inchydoney and Harbour View Beach saw sunseekers out enjoying the fine weather. 

Chief Supt Con Cadogan of West Cork Garda Division said that whilst Gardaí did see a minority of people attempting to breach the Covid-19 restrictions, "overall there has been a good level of compliance" over the weekend.

Heading into the Bank Holiday weekend, Gardaí mounted additional checkpoints and patrols across the city and county.

Speaking to The Echo on Friday, Community Engagement Superintendent for Cork City, Colm O’Sullivan, moved to remind people that the 5km restrictions remain in place.

Lifeguards back on duty at Garretstown beach over the weekendPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Lifeguards back on duty at Garretstown beach over the weekendPicture: Eddie O'Hare

"We will be out and if people turn up and are not within the 5km limit, you will be told to go home," he said.

Large-scale checkpoints on many main routes and mobile checkpoints on secondary routes and in towns and villages will continue today.

The Department of Health yesterday confirmed an additional two patients diagnosed with Covid-19 have died in Ireland, bringing the death toll to 1,652.

There were 66 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Republic to 24,990.

Dublin has the highest number of cases at 12,042 (48% of all cases) followed by Cork with 1,477 cases (6%) and then Kildare with 1,416 cases (6%) as of midnight, Friday, May 29.

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