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Hurr-May Covid-19 restrictions: Inter-county travel, hairdressers, and non-essential shops set for May return

  • Major easing of restrictions across next two months
  • Inter-county travel on May 10
  • Meeting different households in private gardens to be permitted
  • Hospitality earmarked for June 2
  • Pubs set for return on June 7

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Micheál Martin, Catherine Martin and Leo aradkfar

Micheál Martin, Catherine Martin and Leo aradkfar

Leo Varadkar. Photo: Colin Keegan

Leo Varadkar. Photo: Colin Keegan

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Micheál Martin, Catherine Martin and Leo aradkfar

Inter-county travel is to be permitted from May 10 under plans agreed by the Cabinet Committee on Covid-19.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) gave the green light for a major easing of restrictions over the coming weeks.

This includes allowing people to travel throughout the country from the second week of May.

Nphet has said there should be no major easing of restrictions until May 10 at the earliest as coronavirus case numbers are still being reviewed.

However, Nphet recommended that on this date county to county travel may be permitted. The Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 has agreed to proceed with this recommendation.

They also agreed non-essential retailers could resume click-and-collect services, and outdoor retailers such as garden centres should also be allowed reopen in early May. All construction work would also resume on this date.

Hairdressers and barbers will also be allowed open their doors again on May 10, while three different household will be permitted to meet outdoors, including in private gardens from May 10. All non-essential retail will reopen later in the month.

Up to 50 people will be permitted to attend religious services including weddings and masses under Nphet’s advice. However, there will be strict limits on the number of people who can attend the events outside of a church.

Six people will be able to attend a wedding party indoors and 15 outdoors. Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs can reopen from June 2 and residents can be served food and drink under plans agreed by the Cabinet on Covid-19 by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

Restaurants and all pubs, even those that don’t serve food, can serve customers outdoors from June 7.

Gyms are also expected to reopen on June 7.

The number of people who can attend a wedding party indoors would increase to 25 in June under Nphet’s recommendation.

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The impact of easing of restrictions in May will be closely monitored before any decision is taken about June.

The Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 debated the Nphet recommendations along with other advice from senior civil servants and will today bring a memo to Cabinet.

The Government is also expected to announce a new ‘vaccine bonus’ allowing people who have received their first jab to meet another – depending on the vaccine they receive.

Those who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can meet indoors two weeks after their first and only shot. People who receive the AstraZeneca can meet four weeks after their first shot.

People who get Pfizer can meet one week after their second shot and those who get Moderna can meet two weeks after their second shot.

Vaccinated grandparents will also be able to meet grandchildren from May 10 as part of the new vaccine bonus plan.

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar indicated the 15-person limit for outdoor dining and the €9 substantial meal rule will be scrapped when hospitality reopens.

Mr Varadkar told the Fine Gael parliamentary party the distinction between pubs that serve food and so-called wet pubs that don’t, will be scrapped, and that the Government was “trying to get away” from the idea of a 15-person limit on outdoor dining and that it should be linked to the space available.

Irish Independent


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