‘We are on the final stretch of this terrible journey’ – Taoiseach announces gradual easing of restrictions
“By being safe now, we will enjoy much greater freedom later in the summer,” that is message Taoiseach Michéal Martin delivered from the steps of Dáil Eireann tonight.
Outlining how we as a public can: “Safely and successfully chart a path out of restrictions in the weeks and months ahead,” the Taoiseach laid out the path the Government hope will see a return to a form of normality by the end of the summer.
Michéal Martin acknowledged it has been a challenge living with these strict restrictions since Christmas, declaring the variant of the virus, the B2 British variant was basically a new, far more dangerous, more transmissible virus than experienced last year.
He claimed we are in a position, if we act cautiously, to begin a programme of easing the restrictions.
The pathway laid out by the Taoiseach is as follows:
From April 5
- No Changes
From April 12
- 5km travel limit extended to 20km radius of home and home county
- Two households can meet outdoors for social and recreational purposes
- Phased return of construction work
From April 19
- GAA senior county training can recommence – leagues can begin in May
- High performance sports training can also begin again, such as Olympic athletes
From April 26
- Under-18s outdoor training for can resume
- Golf and outdoor tennis can go ahead
- Zoos and wildlife parks can reopen
- Up to 25 people can attend funerals
- Two fully vaccinated people can once again meet indoors and outdoor
The Taoiseach indicated in May other activities such as retail, hairdressers, personal services, contact sports, museums, galleries, libraries, and religious services will be able to resume.
In June, he said the Government hope to be able to reopen, hotels, B&Bs and guest houses in the month of June and allow more freedoms to those who have been fully vaccinated.
“July and August will see more intensive vaccinations and the vast majority of the population will have significant protection against the virus,” The Taoiseach said.
The Taoiseach then declared three million doses will have been administered by the end of May and six million doses by the end of July. At that point he believes the country can accelerate its return to a new normal.