The State’s public health team has given the green light to a faster than expected easing of restrictions from May 10th onwards, reports say.
The Irish Times is reporting that groups of three fully-vaccinated households, or a group of six fully-vaccinated people from any number of households, may be allowed to meet anywhere outside – including private gardens – after May 10th.
The ban on intercounty travel could also be lifted as early as mid-May, according to The Irish Examiner, several weeks earlier than planned.
Government sources told The Examiner that hair salons and barbers will resume trading “as a priority” with some suggesting it could happen early in May. All non-essential retail will also resume at some point in May.
However, there will be no indoor dining in the months of May and June under the proposals being considered.
Hotels and guesthouses will reopen no sooner than June 7th, the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has recommended. The return of outdoor hospitality is not as yet clear.
Some time from May 10th onwards, on a date to be confirmed, 50 people will be allowed to attend religious services, including Mass, church weddings and funerals.
However, for wedding receptions afterwards, six can attend indoors in May and 15 outdoors. This will likely rise to 25 in June, sources told The Irish Times.
Grandparents who have been vaccinated will be able to meet indoors with grandchildren and other family members who have not yet got the jab under the proposals being considered by Ministers.
It is understood that people who have been vaccinated will be able to meet indoors with those from one other household who have not received a jab and are not at risk of severe illness.
A central part of the new plan is a so-called “vaccine dividend”, allowing vaccinated people to meet indoors at certain stages.
Those who have received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be allowed to meet indoors one week after their second dose. This will be two weeks for those who have received Moderna.
Anyone who has received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine can meet two weeks after receiving their single shot.
And those who have received the AstraZeneca jab can meet four weeks after their first dose in what is a significant boost for this group.
The Cabinet sub-committee met on Wednesday evening to finalise their recommendations for reopening society ahead of a full meeting on Thursday.
It is anticipated that proposals for June and July will also be discussed when ministers meet at Cabinet. A formal public announcement on the plans is expected on Thursday evening.