A reopening plan for the country throughout the months of May and June has been agreed by the Cabinet.
From 4th May
- All remaining construction can recommence.
From 10th May:
- An increase in the numbers that can meet outdoors for social/recreational purposes, including in private gardens – maximum of 3 households or 6 people.
- Organised outdoor gatherings with a maximum attendance of 15 people.
- Outdoor training for adults in pods of a maximum of 15 people.
- Phased reopening of non-essential retail. Click and collect, in store by appointment only and outdoor retail can recommence from 10th May. All remaining retail to reopen from 17th May.
- Reopening of personal services by appointment.
- Reopening of galleries, museums, other cultural attractions and libraries (lending services only, no access to reader spaces or PCs).
- Recommencement of in-person religious services. No communions or confirmations should take place.
- Funerals– 50 mourners permitted at service. Related events, either before or after should not take place.
- Weddings – Services – 50 guests permitted at service (civil or religious). Celebration/Reception – 6 for indoor gatherings/15 for outdoor gatherings.
- Inter-county travel can resume.
- Increase in numbers on public transport, up to 50% of normal capacity.
- From 10th May, indoor private home visiting is permitted (without masks or social distancing) in the following cases:
- Fully vaccinated people can meet indoors with 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.
Subject to prevailing disease situation and a full assessment by public health at that time
From 2nd June:
- Accommodation services including hotels, B&Bs, self-catering and hostels can reopen. Services including leisure facilities, indoor restaurant and bar services must be restricted to overnight guests/residents only.
From 7th June:
- Outdoor sports matches can recommence (no spectators).
- Gyms, swimming pools, leisure centres can 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 wedding celebration/reception can increase to 25.
- Visiting indoors in private homes – visitors from one other household is permitted.
- A number of higher-risk activities will be considered at the end of June for later in the year including:
- Indoor hospitality (restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casinos).
- Indoor team/group sports including matches, training and exercise classes.
- Mass gatherings/events (including spectators) indoors and outdoors.
- International travel
Recovery will include economic measures to help businesses and get people back to work. Clear sectoral guidance and supports for business will be provided at each stage to ensure safe reopening. There will be no cliff edge in financial supports for businesses. Any business currently availing of CRSS and that can now reopen as restrictions are eased will be able to avail of double restart week payments for two weeks subject to the statutory maximum of €5,000 per week to support them in meeting the costs of reopening as they exit the scheme.
Work is continuing on a number of other issues in preparation for the coming months:
- A Plan for an enhanced higher and further education on campus experience for the new academic year.
- Proposals on the holding of a limited number of pilot live events for arts, culture, sport and live entertainment (indoor and outdoor). This is to inform the safe reopening of these activities and events when the public health situation allows.
- Preparation for the safe reopening of cinemas and theatres in June subject to public health advice.
Speaking on Thursday evening from Government buildings, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin (FF) detailed that the Government’s strategy was working. “In making decisions on what should happen next, the Government has weighed a number of considerations. We have 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.
“But we have also looked at the risks of moving too quickly. We have to monitor closely the issue of dangerous new variants and learn from the experience of other countries that are now in the grip of deadly new waves of the disease”. He described the vaccines for the virus as “transformative”.
Hope is returning, the Taoiseach stated, “As we enter this next stage of a long and difficult journey, we all search for inspiration and we try to find reassurance that there is a solid basis for the hope that is growing within us. For me, I’ve found it in the faces and the laughter of all those people I’ve met on my visits to vaccination centres. Because as disruptive, as lonely, as frustrating and 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. Each and every one of us has an image in our head of a moment that we are looking forward to enjoying when we get through this”.