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Move to Phase 2 confirmed

IT has been confirmed that Ireland will move to Phase 2 of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business from Monday. The Government has also announced an acceleration of the Roadmap, meaning certain sectors and public amenities can open earlier than previously planned.

All retail stores can open from this Monday, and it is planned that the domestic tourism sector and some hospitality operators can resume from June 29th.

From Monday the following changes take effect:

* You can travel within your own county, or up to 20 km from your home, whichever is greater. These travel limits will be lifted from the end of June.

* Groups of up to 6 people will be able to interact with each other indoors or outdoors, once they keep at least 2m apart. Groups of up to 15 will be able to meet for outdoor sporting activities.

* For those who are over 70 or medically vulnerable, it will be possible to welcome a small number of visitors into your home, with physical distancing observed.

* Shops will also provide dedicated hours for those who are over 70 or in an at risk group.

* All retail stores can reopen, but opening times will be staggered to relieve pressure on public transport. People are encouraged to shop locally, shop safely and support businesses in your community.

* Up to 25 people will be allowed to attend funerals of loved ones.

* Public libraries will commence re-opening.

* Playgrounds can reopen from Monday, and outdoor camps for children can also be run, once there are no more than 15 people involved.

* Certain types of elite sports training will also be possible.

* More people will be able to return to work, including all those who work on their own or whose work can be done safely while staying 2m apart from others. Working from home should remain the norm for those who can do so.

* Marts can re-open and greyhound racing can resume without spectators.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said, “Today, I can confirm that it is safe to move to Phase 2 of the plan to reopen our country from Monday. This has been made possible by the considerable sacrifices you have made to restrict the spread of the virus and protect each other.

“Thanks to your perseverance in pushing back COVID-19 I am announcing an acceleration of the Roadmap. Over the last few months fear has exerted a kind of gravity pulling us down, but now we find there is hope lifting us up again.

“During this Emergency we have suffered as a country, lost loved ones, and changed the way we work and live. We are making progress. We are heading in the right direction. And we have earned the right to be hopeful about the future.”