The Irish Government is set to ease several COVID-19 restrictions over the next month, with non-essential retail and inter-county travel expected to return in mid-May.
The Cabinet will meet today to discuss the reopening of Irish society based on advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team, while Taoiseach Micheál Martin is expected to address the nation at 6 p.m. BST on Thursday.
The current period of Ireland's Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions was due to end on May 4 and it appears as though the Government will extend those restrictions for another week before gradually easing restrictions throughout May and June.
On May 10, hairdressers and barbers will be able to reopen for the first time since December, while inter-county travel is also set to resume for the first time in more than four months.
Up to three households will be permitted to meet outdoors or in a garden setting, while up to 50 worshippers will be allowed to attend religious services. Up to 50 people will be permitted to attend wedding ceremonies, although only six people will be allowed to attend wedding receptions.
Three fully vaccinated households can also gather in an indoor setting, while one vaccinated household will be permitted to meet with an unvaccinated household indoors.
Museums, galleries, and libraries will all reopen on May 10, while adult sports training can also resume.
Public transport will run at 50% capacity, up from 25% capacity over the past four months.
Here's what we know so far:
May 10 📅— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) April 29, 2021
🚗 Intercounty travel resumes
✂️ Hair and personal services reopen.
🛍️ Click and collect for non-essential retailers
🏗️ All construction returns
3⃣Three households can meet outdoors/in gardens.
⛪️ Up to 50 at religious services #COVID19
All construction work will resume on the same date with non-essential retailers able to offer click and collect services.
Non-essential retail is expected to return in full on May 17.
Hotels and guesthouses will reopen on June 2, with all restaurants and pubs set to reopen in an outdoor capacity on June 7. Gyms and swimming pools will also reopen for individual training.
The Irish Government will also consider the further easing of restrictions on July 5, including the reopening of indoor hospitality and the return of outdoor mass gatherings such as spectators at a sporting event.
Ireland has been in Level 5 lockdown since December 31, although certain restrictions were gradually lifted throughout April.
Socially-distanced sports such as tennis and golf returned on April 26, while county-wide travel returned on April 12.
Previously, Irish people were required to exercise within 5km of their own home.