THE CURRENT lockdown measures have been extended until Monday, May 18 as An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar has revealed a five-phase plan to ‘open the country’ again.
Open air workers – those such as gardeners and builders, for example – will be back to work in two weeks’ time, on May 18.
Construction sites, hardware stores and garden centres will also reopen on May 18, provided that physical distancing is practiced.
Over-70s, who have been cocooning in recent weeks, have been advised that they can exercise away from their homes – if they avoid all physical contact – but are advised o remain at home as much as possible.
The 2km limit on travel and exercise has been extended to 5km.
The Cabinet met this afternoon to discuss recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
The current restrictions had been due to expire on Tuesday next, May 5, but that date has been extended.
“We need two more weeks of tight restrictions to weaken the virus further,” Varadkar said in a televised address to the nation.
“We have not yet won the fight. We have too many new cases. we have too many people in our hospitals and in intensive care and we have, regrettably, too many deaths.
“If we relax restrictions too soon, health care staff will become overwhelmed and everything we have achieved would be lost. We could be back to square one.”
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, there have been 1,265 deaths and 20,833 confirmed cases in the Republic of Ireland. Today, 34 deaths and 221 positive cases were announced by the Department of Health.
Varadkar said: “The last few weeks have transformed our lives in ways that we could not have imagined.
“it has been difficult, sometimes dispiriting. As a nation, our physical health has been attacked, our mental health eroded, our economy battered and our society put to the ultimate test.”
Varadkar said there was a five-phase plan – each stage separated by three weeks – as the government aims to ‘open the country in a slow, staged way.’
However, he warned that moving from phase to phase – the fifth of which is listed for August 10 – was dependent on the spread of the virus.Tags: