Ireland's Roadmap to reopen society and the economy will enter into an accelerated phase from Monday, June 8.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced today that Ireland’s Roadmap to reopen the economy and society after coronavirus restrictions will enter into an accelerated phase from Monday, June 8.

Read More: Taoiseach announces acceleration of Ireland's COVID Roadmap

Varadkar was expected to announce today, Friday, June 5, whether or not the Republic of Ireland was ready to enter the next Phase 2 of the Roadmap scheme that was first published on May 1. However, he instead announced that rollbacks that were initially scheduled for later in the summer have been moved up.

It is safe to move to Phase 2 of our plan to reopen our country from Monday, thanks to the considerable sacrifices you have made to restrict the spread of the virus. We are also announcing an acceleration of the Roadmap, with four phases instead of five. #Covid19 #Roadmap pic.twitter.com/TSHWdKkSKS

— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) June 5, 2020

Varadkar said on Friday: “Today, I can confirm that it is safe to move to Phase 2 of the plan to reopen our country from Monday. This has been made possible by the considerable sacrifices you have made to restrict the spread of the virus and protect each other.

“Thanks to your perseverance in pushing back COVID-19 I am announcing an acceleration of the Roadmap. Over the last few months, fear has exerted a kind of gravity pulling us down, but now we find there is hope lifting us up again.”

He added: “Under the reconfiguration of the Roadmap, there are now just two remaining phases instead of three, with Phase 3 starting on the 29th of June, and Phase 4 on the 20th of July. 

(Phase 3 was due to begin June 29, Phase 4 was due to begin July 20, and Phase 5, which has now been rolled into Phases 3 and 4, was due to begin August 10. You can read what the original plans for those phases were here.)

“Further work will be carried out in the coming days and weeks to determine which actions will take place in each phase. Some measures such as bans on mass gatherings may need to remain in place well into August as will public health advice around hygiene and physical distancing.”

Read More: Ireland can officially begin Phase 1 of reopening from Monday

While the Roadmap scheme is being accelerated, the advice remains to continue social distancing at all times. The following advice will also remain in place:

  • Wash your hands well and often
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing, and discard used tissue safely
  • Distance yourself at least 2 metres away from other people, especially those who might be unwell
  • Limit your contact with others when out and about
  • Keep your close contacts to a small number of people
  • Limit the amount of time you spend in direct contact with other people
    avoid crowded areas. If an area looks busy, go somewhere else or return at a quieter time
  • Wear a face covering in situations where social distancing is not possible, for example shops and busy public transport, or if you are meeting someone who is vulnerable to the virus, for example people who are cocooning. Wearing cloth face coverings may help prevent people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others. Guidance on safe use of face coverings is available here
  • Keep a log of all of your contacts throughout the day

The Irish government has since published exactly what comes into effect on Monday, June 8.

Most notably, people in Ireland will be permitted to travel without distance restrictions within their own county. If they travel outside of their county, they are restricted to 20 kilometers from their homes.

People in Ireland must stay local in all circumstances, except in the following situations:

  • to travel to and from work, if your work cannot be carried out from home
  • to shop for essential food and household goods
  • to attend medical appointments and collect medicines
  • for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people - but excluding social family visits
  • to escape domestic violence

Read More: Northern Ireland to begin rolling back coronavirus restrictions from May 18

The following measures come into effect on Monday, June 8 as part of Ireland's accelerated Phase 2:

Community health

It is recommended that face coverings be worn in public places, such as shops, and on public transport.

You may meet up to six people from outside your household both indoors and outdoors for social gatherings.

Organised outdoor exercise, sporting, cultural or social activities of up to 15 people may take place.

Up to 25 immediate family and close friends may attend funeral services.

If you are over 70 or medically vulnerable be extra vigilant.

Children

Outdoor summer camps may operate for post-primary children.

Playgrounds and commercially-serviced outdoor amenities may reopen.

Economic activity and work

The Return to Work Safely Protocol is the operative guide for employers and employees.

Working from home must continue wherever possible.

Marts may open where social distancing and hygiene can be maintained.

Retail, services and commercial activity

All retail outlets may open. Opening times and modes of operation may vary. Please co-operate with store staff and abide by systems put in place for your safety.

Cultural, sporting and social

Groups of up to 15, including trainers and coaches, may return to non-contact outdoor training activity (but not matches) while maintaining social distancing at all times.

Public libraries will commence reopening.

Behind-closed-door horse and greyhound racing can commence.

Transport and travel

Public transport: Social distancing means that overall capacity remains extremely restricted. Use public transport only for essential journeys.

Wearing a face covering is recommended.

Avoid peak-time travel.

Walk or cycle if possible.

International travel: All non-essential overseas travel to and from Ireland should be avoided.

Passengers arriving from overseas are expected to self-isolate for 14 days.

Passengers will also have to complete a form showing where they will self-isolate.

Advice for those over 70 or the medically vulnerable

If you are over 70 or medically vulnerable, please use your judgment to decide how best to apply the following health guidance:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • You may welcome small numbers of people to your home, but maintain social distancing
  • For shopping, please use the times specially allotted by retailers
  • If you are visiting someone who is over 70 or medically vulnerable, please be extra vigilant

Read More: “On May 18, Ireland begins to reopen” - Taoiseach outlines next phases

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