IRELAND WILL move into Phase Three of the government’s gradual easy of lockdown restrictions from Monday.
Leo Varadkar has confirmed the next step in a plan for the steady reopening of the country will come into effect from July 29.
The Government has confirmed that "a wide range of businesses and services can now open or recommence from Monday” including:
- The hospitality sector including cafes and restaurants, as well as pubs and hotel bars serving food, hotels and holiday parks
- Cinemas, theatres, museums, gallerie and other cultural outlets
- Adult education facilities along with crèches, pre-schools, summer camps and youth clubs
- Religious buildings and places of worship
- Wellbeing services including massage therapy, chiropractors, hairdressers and beauty salons
- Driving schools and driving testing centres.
Up to 50 people will also be allowed gather indoors and up to 200 outdoors, provided social distancing and public health advice is strictly adhered to.
A Government statement said: "Up to 50 people can gather indoors and up to 200 outdoors, providing social distancing and public health advice is adhered to.
"Phase 4 is expected to commence on July 20, subject to Government approval. At that point pubs, bars, hotel bars and casinos may reopen, with the number of people permitted at outdoor gatherings rising to 500, and 100 indoors."
Speaking in what could be his final address to the Irish people, the outgoing Taoiseach praised the public for their efforts in helping battle the virus and halt the spread of Covid-19.
"Our country has suffered greatly. Our mental health has been eroded. Some people became sick, many more were sick with worry," he said.
"People lost their jobs and were anxious about their livelihoods and their futures. We worried about family, we worried about friends, we worried about ourselves.
“This has not been an easy time for any of us, but we have come through it as a country. We must now try and repair the damage that has been done, across all parts of our lives, and show the same solidarity in doing so.
"I believe that if we show the same courage, the same determination, and the same care for each other, we will overcome these new challenges as well."
Mr Varadkar also confirmed that non-restricted travel to several countries will be allowed from July 9.
Phase four of lifting lockdown is scheduled to come into effect from July 20, subject to Government approval.
That phase will see pubs, bars, hotel bars and casinos potentially reopen, with the number of people permitted at outdoor gatherings rising to 500, and 100 indoors.