Phase One of Roadmap To Reopening Economy Will Begin On Monday

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”Coronavirus is a fire in retreat; but it is not defeated. We must extinguish every spark, quench every ember.” An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. May 15th.

The next step in the battle against the spread of coronavirus has been enacted with the announcement that the government’s phase one of the roadmap for reopening the economy will go ahead as planned on Monday.

Phase One officially allows some retail shops to resume trading while observing social distancing guidelines. The government has also advised members of the public to wear face coverings in some public spaces such as public transport and in supermarkets.

Addressing the country today An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has advised that members of he public should wear “face coverings when using busy public transport or in enclosed indoor public areas such as retail outlets.”

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) had been discussing the issue at its meetings this week. Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan had indicated that advice on how to make coverings at home and on how to properly wear them would be given.

Leo Varadkar says the Government is advising people to wear face coverings on public transport and in shops, but it is not going to be mandatory. There will be information for the public on how to make their own coverings at home.

“The use of face masks in the community could be considered, especially when visiting busy, closed spaces, such as grocery stores, shopping centres, or when using public transport, etc.

“The use of non-medical face masks made of various textiles could be considered, especially if – due to supply problems – medical face masks must be prioritised for use as personal protective equipment by healthcare workers.”

Stay at Home except for these five exceptions.

  • To go to work if your workplace is open and you can’t work from home’
  • To shop for items you need;
  • To exercise within 5 km of home;
  • For medical reasons or to care for others;
  • To meet friends or family outdoors, in groups of no more than four.

Follow public health and hygiene advice:

  • Wash hands regularly;
  • Maintain 2 metre physical distance whenever possible;
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow or tissue;
  • Stay home and isolate if sick

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he hoped to be able to announce a movement to Phase Two in three weeks’ time. He said this depends on the progress we make.

“Nothing is guaranteed and the only thing that is inevitable is the spread of the virus if we don’t push it back.”

“Covid-19 is an inferno that is raging around the world. In Ireland it is a fire in retreat but it will not be defeated if we do not distinguish every spark and quench every ember. We are bound together and we must rely on each other if we are to succeed, which we will,” he said.