Today is “an important day” for Ireland as parts of the country reopen in Phase One of the Covid-19.
Already this morning, Donegal will see the resumption of activities which have been paused since March.
Gardening centres and hardware shops will open their doors with social distancing measures in place. Construction and outdoor workers are picking up their tools again. Bicycle and motor repair shops are reopening alongside office, electrical and IT supply and repair stores. Opticians and dental practices are also opening for services again.
Small social gatherings are being permitted for groups of four people living in a 5km radius, provided they are outdoors and keeping social distancing. Outdoor public sports amenities, like playing pitches, tennis courts and golf courses may reopen but no other sports which involve close contact can resume yet.
Minister for Health Simon Harris said he is still nervous about the easing of restrictions without a vaccine and with the number of people still contracting Covid-19 and dying from the virus.
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland, Minister Harris said social distancing and hygiene etiquette have become more important than ever.
“We all need to approach these next couple of weeks showing that collective sense of cop on, just because somewhere is open doesn’t mean we need to go,” he said.
If we get these next three weeks right, Harris said, it shows that Ireland has found a way to live successfully and safely alongside the virus.
In the meantime, people are still being told to stay at home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary journeys.