From May 18, Ireland will begin easing some of its lockdown restrictions. From June 29, most businesses will be able to reopen. From May, the five phases of lockdown easing will be:
Phase 1 (May 18)
* Outdoor meetings of up to four people from different households will be allowed and childcare for healthcare workers will be opened.
* Outdoor work, such as construction and gardening, to resume.
* Some shops, such as those selling stationery and IT equipment and opticians can also reopen.
* Retail outlets that are primarily outdoors, such as garden centres, hardware stores and repair shops can reopen.
* Current rules restricting funerals to 10 people still apply.
* Schools and college buildings will reopen to teachers only.
Phase 2 (June 8)
* Visits to a different household by groups of up to four people will be allowed, as long as they maintain a 2-metre distance from those they don’t live with.
* Small retail outlets can open with physical distancing measures in place.
* Libraries can open again.
Phase 3 (June 29)
* Sporting events can resume behind closed doors.
* Cafes and restaurants can reopen with physical distancing measures and strict cleaning protocols.
* Playgrounds can reopen.
* Those with low levels of interaction in their jobs can return to work.
* Non-essential retail, such as clothes shops, can reopen, but this is limited to those with street-level entrances and does not include shops inside shopping centres.
Phase 4 (July 20)
* Movement beyond a 20km radius will be allowed.
* Small social gatherings by family and close friends, including small weddings and baptisms, will be allowed with a maximum number of attendees and physical distancing in place.
* Larger numbers can visit another household for a limited period of time while maintaining physical distancing.
* Those who cannot work at home can return to work.
* Museums, galleries and churches can reopen.
Phase 5 (August 10)
* Some larger social gatherings will be allowed, with restrictions in place.
* On a phased basis, schools and universities can start to reopen.
Dr Tony Holohan, Ireland’s chief medical officer, says schools should not open earlier than September. He questioned the view that there was “evidence” that children are not super-spreaders of the virus as previously thought.