Republic of Ireland news

The Republic's road map to reopening: What will happen and when

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD on the steps of the Government Buildings Dublin, before addressing the public on the state of the coronavirus lockdown in Ireland.
Cate McCurry, PA

The Irish Government has outlined its road map for reopening society and businesses across the Republic of Ireland.

It will reopen the economy and society in a slow and phased way, beginning on May 18.

The plan sets out five stages for unlocking restrictions, at three week intervals.

As the restrictions are eased, the rate of the virus in the community will be monitored by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and the Government.

There are five phases in the road map to ease restrictions.

Phase 1 begins on May 18.

– Allow outdoor meetings between people from different households

– Open up childcare for healthcare workers

– Phased return of outdoor workers

– Open retailers which are primarily outdoor or those which were open during the first level of restriction (eg opticians)

– Open certain outdoor public amenities

Phase 2

– Allow visits to households

– Develop plans and supports to open up business with consideration for safety of staff and customers

– Open small retail outlets and marts where social distancing can be observed

– Open public libraries

Phase 3

– Allow small social gatherings-

– Open creches, childminders and pre-schools for children of essential workers in phased manner

– Return to work for those with low levels of interaction

– Open non-essential retail outlets with street level entrance and exit

– Open playgrounds

Phase 4

– Open creches, childminders and pre-schools for children of all other workers on a gradually increasing basis

– Return to work for those who cannot work from home

– Gradual easing of restrictions for higher risk services (eg hairdressers)

– Open museums, galleries, places of worship

Phase 5

– Allow larger social gatherings

– Return to work across all sectors

– On a phased basis, commencing at the beginning of the academic year 2020/2021, opening of primary and secondary schools and 3rd level institutions

– Further easing of restrictions on high risk retail services

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