'Hope is returning:' Taoiseach confirms plans for reopening 

'Hope is returning:' Taoiseach confirms plans for reopening 

In an address to the nation this evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed the plans for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has confirmed the plans for the easing of COVID-19 measures from 10 May.

Speaking this evening, the Taoiseach said that in making a decision on what should happen next, the Government has “weighed a number of considerations” and looked at “the progress achieved in managing the spread of the disease, the impact of the vaccination programme and the need to continue responsibly reopening our society and economy".

From 4 May, all remaining construction can recommence.

On 10 May, inter-county travel can resume and personal services such as hairdressers can reopen on an appointment basis. 

A phased reopening of non-essential retail will also commence with click and collect services, and in-store by appointment only.

All remaining retail is to reopen from 17 May.

Organised outdoor gatherings with a maximum attendance of 15 people will also be allowed along with outdoor training for adults in pods of a maximum of 15 people.

Galleries, museums, other cultural attractions and libraries will also open again on 10 May.

The date will also see the recommencement of in-person religious services though no communions or confirmations should take place.

50 mourners will be permitted at funerals while 50 guests will be permitted at a wedding service.

As part of the 'Vaccine bonus,' indoor private home visiting is permitted (without masks or social distancing) for fully vaccinated people and other fully vaccinated people as long as there are no more than 3 households present.

Fully vaccinated people can meet indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household, provided that they are not at risk of severe illness and no more than 3 households are present.

June

From 2 June, accommodation services including hotels, B&Bs, self-catering and hostels can reopen. 

From 7 June, outdoor sports matches can recommence (no spectators).

Gyms, swimming pools, leisure centres can also reopen for individual training only.

Outdoor services in restaurants and bars can recommence, with groups limited to a maximum of 6 people.

The numbers of guests attending a wedding celebration/reception can increase to 25.

Visiting indoors in private homes – visitors from one other household is permitted.

The Taoiseach ended his speech on a message of hope.

"As sad as the last year has been, we are getting through it and a degree of normality is returning. 

"The company of friends and relations is returning. Hope is returning."

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