Taoiseach Micheál Martin outlined the reopenings and rollbacks of restrictions scheduled for the Republic of Ireland beginning in part from May 4 in a live address to the nation this evening.

"Because of your hard work and sacrifices, we are now in a better place," Martin said during his address.

Govt announcement on restrictions

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announces plan to reopen society in May and June | 📲 Follow live updates: https://bit.ly/2SfKPHR

Posted by RTÉ News on Thursday, April 29, 2021

Martin said that by tonight, more than 1.5 million vaccine doses will have been administered in the Republic of Ireland. He later announced in his address that next week, people between the ages of 50 and 59 will be able to book their vaccination appointment on the online portal.

Martin said: "We are determined to do everything we can to ensure that when we open a sector of our society or economy, it stays open. 

"We now believe it is safe to continue moving forward in two phases over the coming months."

The next phase will commence on May 10, and the following phase will begin, depending on the current health situation, on June 2.

"Taking these steps will see many thousands of people going back to work for the first time in many months. I understand how difficult it has been for businesses and workers and a huge desire there is for people just to be able to make a living again.

"I thank you in particular for the sacrifice you have made and it is your determination to get back to successful trading which convinces me that our society and our economy will recover."

Looking ahead, Martin said: "Clearly, the overriding priority is the continued successful rollout of the vaccine." 

He added: "To enable all of this, the key factor remains sticking with the strategy - a gradual, responsible reopening with all of us observing the rules and respecting the guidance that remains in place. Our choices and our individual behavior remain key."

In closing, Martin said: "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 found it in the faces and the laughter of all those people I 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."

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Here are the upcoming reopenings announced by the Irish government today, April 29:

Throughout May and June, the Irish government encourages the population to continue to adhere to public health advice as dictated by the Health Service Executive.

From May 4:

  • All construction can restart

From May 10:

  • Travel: You can travel between counties in Ireland
  • Visitors to your garden: Maximum of 3 households or 6 people from any number of households
  • Outdoor gatherings: Maximum 15 people
  • Outdoor training: Maximum 15 people
  • Retail: Click and collect services can resume
  • Personal services (hairdressers, barbers, beauticians): Can reopen for customers with appointments only
  • Galleries, museums, libraries and other cultural attractions: Can reopen
  • Funerals: Maximum 50 mourners at service. No other events to take place
  • Weddings: Maximum 50 guests at service. Maximum 6 guests at indoor reception or 15 outdoors
  • Public transport: Public transport will run at 50 percent capacity
  • Vaccine bonus: If you are vaccinated - you can visit other households indoors

From May 17:

  • Retail: All retail can reopen

From June 2 (subject to the public health situation at the time):

  • Accommodation services (hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, and hostels): Can reopen but services must be restricted to overnight guests and residents

From June 7 (subject to the public health situation at the time):

  • Visitors: You can have visitors from one other household inside your home
  • Restaurants and bars: Outdoor services can resume with groups limited to 6 people
  • Weddings: Maximum guests at reception increases to 25
  • Outdoor sports matches: Can be played but with no spectators
  • Gyms, swimming pools, leisure centres: Can reopen for individual training only

Next steps

A number of higher-risk activities will be considered over the coming period 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