An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is expected to make an announcement today on the first phase of lifting Covid-19 restrictions from Monday.
Phase One of the roadmap will allow groups of four people from different households to meet outdoors while social distancing.
May 18th will also see outdoor and homeware retailers reopening, such as hardware stores, gardening centres, motor and bicycle businesses, and farmers’ markets. Businesses which were open during first level of restriction (e.g. opticians) can also open again.
Monday may also see the phased return of outdoor workers, while remote working will continue for all who can do so.
Schools and colleges will be able to reopen for teachers only.
Commenting in the Dáil yesterday, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Irish people will need to be more disciplined in following guidelines from May 18th to avoid the virus spreading further as restrictions are eased.
Varadkar said: “We may in the coming weeks, as Germany has, see an increase in the R number as we ease the restrictions. So, after May 18th, we need to be more disciplined and act more responsibly than ever before when it comes to vital public health actions – no handshakes, keeping a physical distance of 2m where possible, washing our hands regularly, sneezing or coughing into a tissue or our elbow, staying at home and self-isolating if we become sick.
“Face coverings, visors, sneeze guards, while they have a role, are no substitute for any of this. I have every confidence in the Irish people to embrace this new normal.”
The Taoiseach added that all people arriving in ports and airports must complete a public health passenger locator form and self-isolate for 14 days. “There are exceptions like supply chain workers or those people stopping over in one of our airports before travelling onwards. Or, of course, people on their way to and from Northern Ireland. We’re examining ways of strengthening these actions in the next few days,” he said.