The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) have had their calls for a cautious and gradual phased reopening over May and June heeded by government ministers who rubberstamped the easing of restrictions from May 10.
An Taoiseach Micheal Martin confirmed that message this evening from the plinth on the steps of government buildings in his latest state of the nation address.
He said that ”Hope is returning.”
Mr Martin said that as ”…..disruptive, sad, lonely and frustrating the last year has been, a level of normality is now returning.”
He said ”….each person has an image of a moment in their head they are looking forward to enjoying, and that now, people are closer to that moment.”
Public Health officials wanted an emphasis on outdoor activity and a moderate increase in social contact, to be considered low to medium risk.
The Government has agreed that the following measures will apply:
Everyone should continue to work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person.
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).
- 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.
Easing of Restrictions for May
An increase in the numbers that can meet outdoors for social/recreational purposes, including in private gardens – to a maximum of either:
- A group of three households
- A group of 6 people from any number of households (this limit of 6 does not include their children aged 12 or younger)
- A group of three households
Libraries to reopen for lending services, no access to reader spaces/PCs).
It is advised that other religious ceremonies such as Communions and Confirmations should not take place at this time.
50 at funeral/wedding is subject to capacity for social distancing and other appropriate public health measures
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.