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lifting lockdown Covid restrictions: What is changing in Ireland on Monday?

The country has been in level five lockdown since Christmas Eve, having only emerged from the same restrictions that had been in place since October five days prior to that.

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(PA)

(PA)

(PA)

Ireland’s coronavirus restrictions are set to be eased on Monday for the first time this year.

The country has been in level five lockdown since Christmas Eve, having only emerged from the same restrictions that had been in place since October five days prior to that.

Since last December, the return of some children to schools and some construction work have been the only exceptions to the pandemic restrictions.

Monday will see the 5km travel limit relaxed to allow people to travel anywhere within their county, or up to 20km if crossing into another county.

People from two households will be allowed to meet up outdoors for social and recreational purposes, however the Government has insisted that private gardens remain off limits.

All schoolchildren are to return to in-class learning from Monday, while construction on housing and essential projects will also resume.

Further easing of restrictions is expected on April 19 and April 26.

Saturday saw 14 further deaths linked to Covid-19 in Ireland and an additional 455 confirmed cases, the Department of Health said.

Of the deaths reported on Saturday, three occurred in April, one in March, six in February, and four in January.

The median age of those who died was 72.5 years and the age range was 55-90 years.

There has now been a total of 4,783 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland, and 240,643 confirmed cases.

As of 8am on Saturday, there were 208 Covid-19 patients in hospitals, of which 52 are in intensive care units.

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A total of 1,018,264 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Ireland to date.

Some 716,636 people have received their first dose and 301,628 have received the second dose.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people are booking flights to Ireland from the US this weekend, as they race to beat the new hotel quarantine requirement before it comes into force on Thursday.

After the Government announced on Friday night that the US, Canada, France, Belgium, Italy, Turkey and 10 other countries would be added to the hotel quarantine list from 4am on Thursday, there was a surge in bookings on flights from the USA which will arrive in Dublin before then.

Large numbers of Irish and US citizens appear to be scrambling to get into the State before they would be required to spend up to two weeks in a hotel quarantine facility.

Two Aer Lingus flights from New York and Boston, which have had typically only around 20 to 25 passengers per day in recent months, each had over 110 people booked to fly this Tuesday.

Bookings started to surge overnight on Friday, following the Government announcement.

A well-placed source predicted both flights will each have over 200 passengers on them by the end of the weekend.

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