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OPEN FOR BUSINESS Covid restrictions: The 12 big talking points from the Taoiseach's speech

In his official announcement today at 6pm, Micheal Martin stated that the country’s public health regulations will be loosened in two phases from May 10th, starting with intercounty travel, hairdressers, and personal services.

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Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Tom Honan/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Tom Honan/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Tom Honan/PA)

More freedom is on the cards for Ireland as the Taoiseach has confirmed the easing of a number of Covid restrictions.

In his official announcement today at 6pm, Micheal Martin stated that the country’s public health regulations will be loosened in two phases from May 10th, starting with inter-county travel, hairdressers, and personal services.

Here are the key points from this evening’s speech:

Inter county travel is permitted from May 10th but no update has been given yet for travel abroad.

Hairdressers, barbers, and personal services can reopen on May 10th but booking an appointment is essential to reduce crowds.

Click & Collect services and appointments for non-essential retail can resume on May 10th, and shops are expected to reopen fully the following week on May 17th.

The remaining sectors of construction can also resume from May 10th.

Museums, galleries, and libraries will reopen on May 10th with strict social distancing procedures in place. No date has been provided for other indoor amenities such as cinemas and theatres.

The number of people allowed to attend religious services, funerals, and weddings will increase to 50 people from May 10th but there are still limits on numbers attending receptions after such events, such as wedding parties.

Six people can attend such events indoors or fifteen outdoors and from June 7th, couples will be permitted to have 25 guests at weddings.

Hotels, self-catering guesthouses, and B&Bs can open from June 2nd and are also permitted to serve food and drinks indoors to guests.

Starting from June 10th, pubs and restaurants can serve food and drink to customers outdoors. There will be no distinction between pubs that serve food and those that don’t.

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Gyms will reopen on June 7th, along with sports games, which will be permitted as long as there are no spectators.

Three households up to six people will be allowed to meet outdoors, including in private gardens from May 10th.

Vaccinated people will also be able to meet up with other vaccinated people indoors with no masks or social distancing at this time.

The Taoiseach added that there has been an “extremely positive” response to the Covid vaccination portal.

He confirmed that it will open next week for those aged 50-59 to register for their vaccines.

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