WATCH: 'Significant day' in Ireland's return to normality, says Taoiseach 

WATCH: 'Significant day' in Ireland's return to normality, says Taoiseach 

The Taoiseach has said today marks a "very significant" day in Ireland's return to normality following the further easing of the country's Covid-19 restrictions. Picture: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach has said today marks a "very significant" day in Ireland's return to normality following the further easing of the country's Covid-19 restrictions. 

A number of changes to the restrictions initially introduced to reduce the spread of the Covid-19, came into effect today, with more to follow in the weeks ahead.

The resumption of outdoor hospitality along with the reopening of cinemas, theatres, gyms, and swimming pools formed part of these changes. 

"Today was a very significant day for pubs and restaurants with the reopening of outdoor hospitality and that, of course, illustrates the continuing progress we are making in reopening society and our economy bringing thousands of people back to work," Micheál Martin said in a video update posted to social media. 

Mr Martin also gave an update in relation to Ireland's vaccination programme, stating that close to 55% of the population are now vaccinated with at least one dose.

He said that close to 26% of the population are now fully vaccinated.

"Tremendous tribute must be paid to the HSE, to our GPS, and to all those who have been involved in the vaccination programme," he said.

Last week the Government announced its Economic Recovery Plan which Mr Martin spoke briefly about in his video message this evening.

"It was a significant week also last week with the announcement by Minister Norma Foley in respect of a new artists in residencies across schools all over the country.

"This will involve artists from all disciplines coming into our schools, interacting with our students," the Taoiseach said.

"I think it's fantastic for the artists, for the students, and for education more generally."

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