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LIFTiNG LOCKDOWN Restrictions on 5km travel, outdoor gatherings, and sport to be eased on ‘phased basis’ next month

Nphet will make a recommendation on restrictions in the coming hours which will be considered by the Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 at a meeting scheduled for 6pm.

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Covid-19 restrictions will be eased on a phased basis next month, it has emerged.

It was anticipated restrictions on travel, sport, outdoor gatherings and construction would be eased next Monday on April 5.

However, the Government is now expected to gradually lift restrictions across the month of April.

Nphet will make a recommendation on restrictions in the coming hours which will be considered by the Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 at a meeting scheduled for 6pm.

Ahead of the meeting, a senior Government source said they expect restrictions to be eased gradually over the coming weeks so their impact on transmission of the virus can be assessed.

The Path Ahead plan for easing restrictions committed to reviewing the 5km travel ban before April while also examining whether some outdoor activities, including sport could be permitted.

Its is expected the 5km travel ban will be lifted but it has yet to be decided how far it can be extended. However, senior Government sources have ruled out allowing intercountry travel.

Cabinet Ministers are confident children will be able take part in non-contact sports training in pods of 15 next month.

Allowing people play golf and tennis is being given serious consideration as is permitting training for senior county GAA teams.

However, it remains unclear if sports activity will be allowed on April 5 or later in the month.

There are also discussions underway about allowing people socialise outdoors.

Two household are currently permitted to meet outside for exercise and the Government is now considering whether this can be extended to allow households socialise outside.

This means people may be allowed meet in parks and beaches for picnics or coffees next month.

Ministers have also committed to reviewing whether construction work can return in April.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has proposed allowing home building return on April 5 and permitting commercial construction later in the month.


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