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Pathway Taoiseach announces further easing of restrictions but warns 'we must remain vigilant'

If we continue to mind each other...the end is within our grasp’

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Taoiseach Michéal Martin addressing the nation

Taoiseach Michéal Martin addressing the nation

Taoiseach Michéal Martin addressing the nation

An Taoiseach Michéal Martin has once again taken to the podium to share the latest news on the easing of restrictions due to Covid-19 with the nation. 

Along with international travel, Mr Martin will outline guidelines for the hospitality industry and when indoor dining may recommence.

The Taoiseach said “our collective trust in science has been seen in many ways” particularly the high uptake in the vaccine so far.

He said half of those eligible for the vaccine will have received a dose by Monday.

"The strategy is working," Mr Martin says, adding that Ireland's percentage of citizens over 70 vaccinated is "unmatched in Europe".

He said “continued progress is not inevitable” and that “change means risk” as he began to outline the easing of restrictions.

"We are almost back to a point where we can just enjoy the ordinary, extraordinary moments in our lives,” Mr Martin said.

“The sense of hope, excitement and relief is palpable.

“But as we watch what is happening across the globe, we of course know that we must remain vigilant against this terrible virus.

“If we continue to mind each other, if we continue to make the right choices, be vigilant, take our vaccine when our turn comes; If we continue to do all these things, the end of this is within our grasp,” he added.

From July 5, indoor services will return to bars and restaurants.

From July 5, indoor events will recommence with 100 allowed in large venues, and 50 at smaller ones. There will also be a resumption of indoor sports and exercise classes on this date.

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From August 5, up to 200 can attend indoor events at larger venues.

Also from August 5 up to 100 guests will be able to attend weddings.

"Pubs and bars that don't serve food have suffered heavily," the Taoiseach said, adding a one-off grant will be made available to these businesses to help them reopen.

On foreign travel, Mr Martin said:

"I understand the pent-up desire for a trip abroad or to welcome loved ones home," Mr Martin said. For this reason, Ireland have agreed to adopt the EU's Digital Green Certificate from July 19, to allow non-essential travel within the bloc for those that are fully vaccinated or have already had Covid-19.

Reacting to the reopening of travel, Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland said: “Today’s announcement is an extremely welcome and important step on the road to recovery for our industry. This will help protect thousands of jobs and livelihoods across the tourism industry. For the first time in many months, we can look to the future with optimism.”

Below is a breakdown of what we know so far on restrictions:

International travel

International travel for non-essential reasons is expected to resume on July 19.

It is expected the EU Digital Green Cert will also be implemented on this date.

This would allow anyone who has been vaccinated, returned a negative a PCR test or recently had Covid to travel freely within the union, or to the US.

All EU countries are set to be removed from the Government's mandatory hotel quarantine list.

However, people must still enter mandatory hotel quarantine if they arrive from other red list countries.

Vaccinated passengers will be able to visit Ireland without a negative test and will also be exempt from any quarantining measures.

Outdoor dining

Restaurants, gastropubs, café’s and ‘wet pubs’ will reopen for outdoor dining from June 7.

Groups will be limited to six adults and up to nine children (aged 12 or under).

All customers must leave the premises by 11.30pm and no live music is allowed.

Pubs that don't serve food will get a €4,000 grant for outdoor seating.

Labelled 'wet pubs' during the pandemic, non-food pubs have been treated differently to establishments that serve food.

The Government is announcing a grant scheme of up to €4,000 to enhance their outdoor areas.

Indoor dining

It is expected that the Taoiseach will announce that indoor dining can resume from July 5.

Customers will have to pre-book 105-minute time slots if tables are one metre apart in indoor restaurants.

However, if tables are spaced out by two metres or more, the time limits will not apply.

Group numbers are the same as indoor dining with live music still not being allowed. People are also not allowed to stand at bars and will be served by table service only.

Hotels

Plans to allow hotels reopen from next Wednesday, June 2, are expected to go ahead.

Indoor dining for guests will also be allowed from this date.

Live outdoor events

From next month a series of pilot events will see fans return to sports, music, comedy and arts events.

It is expected that these will be capped at 25pc capacity.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said these events will not be limited to only people who have been vaccinated, and anitgen tests may be used as an extra measure.

Weddings

It is expected Government will announce a maximum of 50 guests at Wedding receptions will be allowed from June 7.

Household visits

From July 7, households will be allowed have one visitor to their home, or multiple people from the same household.

Outdoor sports matches

It is expected to be announced that sports matches between clubs can resume from June 7, however, no spectators are allowed.

Gyms, swimming pools and lesiure centres

These are expected to be allowed reopen for individualised training from June 7.

Cinemas

Cinemas are expected to be allowed reopen from June 7.

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