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Over 70s can invite visitors into their homes from Monday – but no hugs for grandchildren

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Waiting for advice: Health Minister Simon Harris wants visits to nursing homes to begin again. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Waiting for advice: Health Minister Simon Harris wants visits to nursing homes to begin again. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Waiting for advice: Health Minister Simon Harris wants visits to nursing homes to begin again. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The over-70s will next week be able to invite their grandchildren and others into their homes for the first time in months, under the Government’s second phase of reopening the country.

However, children and adults will be told they must wear masks, gloves and stay strictly two metres away from the person who is cocooning.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is also considering opening playgrounds in some areas to ease the burden of the lockdown on children.