An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has tonight announced that many of Ireland’s Covid-19 restrictions will be eased early.
Apart from some exceptions, most reopenings are now being moved to Phase 3, beginning on Monday 29th June.
Churches and places of worship, gyms, cinemas, leisure facilities, hairdressers, beauticians and barber shops will be allowed to reopen in just nine days time.
All sporting activities including close contact sports can recommence.
Mass gatherings will be limited to 50 people indoors and 200 indoors until the 20th of July.
This will rise to 100 indoors and 500 people outdoors after Phase 4.
People should still work from home if they can.
Speaking from Government Buildings this evening, the Taoiseach said: “We are making progress but this announcement comes with some important terms and conditions. The virus hasn’t gone away. We are all still susceptible to it.”
Mr Varadkar said everyone should consider four things before making a decision about doing something and at all times to think DATE to evaluate the risk:
Members of the public are continuing to be advised to use a face covering (i.e. a non-medical face covering) as an additional hygiene measure, when using busy public transport or when in enclosed indoor public areas such as retail outlets.
Mr Varadkar added: “Certain types of activity are more risky than others, so we must lower that risk by taking appropriate steps, wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing, washing our hands and so on.
“Taking personal responsibility means not entering a place if you see it is packed. It means leaving somewhere, even if you are having a good time, if you have been there beyond a certain point. It means exercising judgement and self-control for your own sake as well as the collective good.
“This re-phasing of the Roadmap has been made possible by the solidarity of the Irish people and the sacrifices made by so many over the past few months in suppressing the virus. Instead of being forced back, we have been able to push the spread of the virus back and advance forward.
“We will need to continue to act responsibility, understand that we have no treatment or vaccine for this virus and until such time as we do we will be living a different type of life. But a life where we can again do so many things that are important to us and our families. We have been through a shared experience and as we move forward, we will never forget what we have lost and learned.”