Cabinet Ministers have approved the plan for re-opening the economy over the next few months. There will be a significant easing of restrictions from May 10th with the Taoiseach to address the nation around 6pm.
May 10th will be a significant day with the inter-county travel ban lifted, meet ups in gardens allowed and social visits with vaccinated people indoors approved.
Retail will start opening, hairdressers, barbers and beauticians can open their doors with outdoor sports training resuming.
Religious services will return, the amount allowed at funerals and weddings will increase to 50 people – but only for the service, with the afters of a wedding limited to 6 people indoors and 15 outdoors.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says it’s a good news day – but not an excuse for everyone to go mad! ”We now have the fastest growth in the seven-day rate anywhere in the EU, its off a low base but its still a lot of growth so the clear public health advice we have is……obviously we’ll be proceeding with what’s agreed here today for May. June is contingent upon things remaining stable.”
Indeed there is concern in some quarters in government buildings that things are going too fast.
Essentially it seems NPHET and the government are banking on the vaccination programme ramping up to an extent that will offset any impact on hospital and ICU numbers, even if the number of new cases starts to rise.