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Shopping centres to open from June 15 and some pubs to reopen by end of month - Varadkar fast-tracks opening up of country

  • Up to six people can meet indoors or outdoors from Monday
  • Up to 15 can participate in sporting activities
  • Domestic travel restrictions to be lifted on June 29

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Handout photo of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD on the steps of the Government Buildings Dublin, addressing the public on the state of the coronavirus lockdown in Ireland. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Handout photo of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD on the steps of the Government Buildings Dublin, addressing the public on the state of the coronavirus lockdown in Ireland. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Handout photo of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD on the steps of the Government Buildings Dublin, addressing the public on the state of the coronavirus lockdown in Ireland. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

IRISH people have "earned the right to be hopeful about the future again" as the roadmap to reopen the country is accelerated, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

The five phases in the original roadmap will now be reduced to just four, allowing for the 'new normal' to take full effect on July 20.

Mr Varadkar said this was "made possible because of the considerable sacrifices you have made".

However, he warned that the fast-tracking of measures did not mean that the Government will automatically move through the phases on the dates set out. He said any increase in the virus could set the situation back.

“Fear has exerted a kind of gravity pulling us down, but now we find there is hope pulling us up again. We are heading the right direction.

“We have earned the right to be hopeful about the future again,” he said.

Mr Varadkar said Gardaí will enforce a new 'Stay Local' rule, meaning you should stay in your own county. The travel limit will be removed in Phase Three which is due to kick in on June 29.

Groups of up to six people will be allowed to meet indoors from Monday and up to 15 people can meet for outdoor sports activities.

Summer camps are back on the cards as are other outdoor activities for children.

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Summer is not lost,” Mr Varadkar said as he announced the return of the tourism and hospitality sector on June 29.

He said bars will be allowed to reopen on this date if they serve food and operate table service only.

Churches and places of worship are to reopen from next week.

Here's everything we know:

Travel & Transport

You will be able to travel within your own county, and up to 20 kilometres from your home if crossing county boundaries up to 20km away. People are to only use public transport if absolutely necessary.

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.

Social visits

Up to six people may visit another household but everyone must keep at least 2 metres apart from people they don't live with.

Cocooners

Shops are being asked to provide dedicated hours for people over the age of 70 and those who are medically vulnerable with strict social distancing in place. Shoppers should ideally wear face coverings. Those who are cocooning can have a small number of visitors to their home who should be “extra-vigilant”.

Group exercise / training

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

Work

Remote working is to continue for all workers or businesses that can currently do so. Where this is not possible, employers must put measures in place to allow for social distancing such as extended opening hours and staggered breaks.

Shops

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People on Dublin's Grafton street as restrictions put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have been eased. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

People on Dublin's Grafton street as restrictions put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have been eased. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

People on Dublin's Grafton street as restrictions put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have been eased. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire


All shops can reopen from Monday unless they are in a shopping centre. They must operate staggered hours, opening no earlier than 10:30am and allocating dedicated time at the start for elderly, vulnerable and at-risk groups. Shopping centres can open from June 15 provided measures are taken to ensure people do not congregate at benches, fountains or food courts.

Funerals and religious services

The limit on 10 people attending funerals will be raised to 25. Religious services are expected to resume on June 29, subject to safety restrictions.

Sport

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

Elite athletes may return to their training facilities.

Children

Outdoor summer camps may operate for post-primary children.

Playgrounds and commercially-serviced outdoor amenities may reopen.

Restaurants and pubs

It will be possible to open restaurants from June 29. Bars that also serve food will be allowed operate so long as they can provide table service.

Tourism

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Kilkenny Tourism has begun to promote home holidays again

Kilkenny Tourism has begun to promote home holidays again

Kilkenny Tourism has begun to promote home holidays again


Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland

Hotels, hostels, caravan parks, galleries and museums can reopen on June 29, making it possible for people to holiday in Ireland this summer.

Libraries

Public libraries may open so long as the numbers allowed in are limited.


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