Health officials sign off on opening of DIY stores, and fears pupils can only return to primary school on a part-time basis
Groups of four people living within a 5km radius of each other will be permitted to meet up outside once a day from Monday.
Those meeting up will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines and stay two metres from those they are with.
People will also be told not to take advantage of the easing of restrictions and warned they can only meet up with small groups of friends and relatives once a day.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) yesterday agreed to move into phase one of the plan to reopen the country.
After the Cabinet signs off on the Nphet recommendation, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will this afternoon announce the first significant easing of lockdown restrictions since the country was shut down.
One of the key changes to the rules will be the lifting of the ban on meeting people from outside your household.
Small groups will be allowed to meet outside once a day. They will also be permitted to play golf and tennis.
It is also expected that outdoor workers such as those working in construction and landscaping will be able to return to work while applying social distancing measures from next week.
The Government will stress that this is strictly limited to outside workers and anyone working inside on construction sites will not be returning to work.
Hardware stores, garden centres, farmers' markets and other shops that are primarily outdoors are also due to reopen under the Government's roadmap.
Also reopening are homeware shops, opticians, garages, bicycle shops and stores that sell office products, electoral goods, IT and phones.
The Government will also announce new advice on wearing homemade face coverings on public transport and while going shopping.
Yesterday, the Taoiseach told the Dáil he was "increasingly confident" that he would be able to begin lifting restrictions on Monday as the rate of new infections and Covid-19 deaths has continued to drop.
"All things going to plan, phase one will begin on Monday, if and only if it is safe to do so," he said.
The Taoiseach and Health Minister Simon Harris will outline how restrictions will be lifted between 3pm and 4pm today.
They will urge people to stay at home as much as possible while also announcing limited scenarios where they can meet friends and family or go shopping.
Workers will be urged to take significant precautions if returning to work.
Meanwhile, gardaí will begin contingency planning later today for their role in what could potentially be a logistical nightmare in the implementation of phase one of lifting the Covid-19 lockdown.
They are awaiting specific instructions from the Government spelling out in detail what the partial removal of current restrictions means from midnight on Monday before completing their preparations.
The Government decision will result in thousands of additional people taking to the roads and streets as they return to work.
The huge increase in public movement will put pressure on existing Garda checkpoint operations.
Officers do not know yet whether they will be tasked with policing the big rise in numbers travelling on public transport to work to ensure that social distancing measures are being obeyed.
The reopening of businesses such as garden centres and hardware stores also poses problems unless it is specifically made clear what constitutes a big or small centre or store and whether the major retail outlets such as Woodie's, B & Q and Homestore are covered by the regulations.
Ikea has already stated it intends to open next week.
It is not yet clear either whether the onus will be on gardaí or the health and safety authorities to ensure people are wearing masks or what agency will police the measures, such as social distancing, relating to the reopening of other outlets covered in phase one.
Meanwhile, the Office of Public Works yesterday announced a new social distancing plan for the Phoenix Park in Dublin which will come into effect on Monday, after a surge in the numbers going there in recent weeks.
The temporary measures will include providing cocooning space at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre Walled Garden from 10am to 1pm, daily.
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