Ireland’s Covid-19 restrictions are set to ease at midnight tonight for the first time this year, after more than 100 days of lockdown.
The country has been in Level Five lockdown since Christmas Eve, having only emerged from the same restrictions that had been in place since October five days prior to that.
Restrictions will now relax on a phased basis to allow the vaccine programme to ramp up and reduce the risk of another surge of the disease.
Here is how the planned easing will proceed over the coming months.
From Monday, April 12th
Domestic travel: The current five-kilometre exercise limit will be extended to allow people to travel within their own county or within a 20km radius of their home even if that crosses a county boundary.
Gatherings: Two households will be permitted to meet outdoors, but not in private gardens, for social and recreational purposes.
Schools: All students will return to classrooms after the Easter break.
Construction: A partial resumption of construction activity will begin with the return of 5,000 home building workers as all residential projects can recommence.
From April 19th
Sports: Restrictions will ease to allow GAA senior county training to return, but will not include under 20 or minor competitions.
From April 26th
Businesses: Outdoor visitor attractions will reopen, such as zoos, open pet farms and heritage sites. Indoor areas should remain closed, hospitality should only be open for takeaway services and capacity limits should be in place. Amusement parks will not be permitted to open.
Sports: Outdoor sports facilities will reopen, such as pitches, golf courses and tennis courts. Activities should take place between a maximum of two households and there should not be any return to team sports or training activities.
Sports: Underage non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15 will recommence for all exercise activities that can be delivered outdoors, including dance.
Gatherings: Funeral attendance will increase from 10 to 25 on compassionate grounds.
From May 4th
Retail: Non-essential retail will return on a phased basis, beginning with click-and-collect and outdoor retail such as garden centres.
Personal services: Businesses such as hairdressers will reopen on a staggered basis.
Attractions: Museums, galleries and libraries will reopen.
Gatherings: Religious services will recommence on a staggered basis.
Construction: All activity will fully resume.
The level of restrictions to be in place over the summer months will depend upon Covid-19 data and the progression of the vaccination programme.