Ireland's 5km travel limit set to be lifted on April 5

Ireland's 5km travel limit set to be lifted on April 5

THE 5km travel limit in Ireland is expected to be lifted on April 5 as part of the country's first baby steps out of lockdown.

Cabinet has met with the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) today to discuss an easing of restrictions, with an announcement on their decision due on Tuesday.

Initially, April 5 was earmarked as the day when Level 5 restrictions would be lifted, but because Covid-19 case numbers have failed to drop substantially enough, and due to vaccine supply issues over the past month or so, it appears lockdown will be extended well into Spring.

The vast majority of Level 5 restrictions are expected to remain in place for another six to eight weeks, with only a few minor changes being considered for April.

Last week, it was revealed that Government was only considering restrictions on travel limits, outdoor gatherings, sport and construction for today's meeting, and while nothing will be confirmed until tomorrow, it's understood that the 5km travel limit will indeed be lifted.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is expected to give a broad outline on the re-opening of society and non-essential services and businesses this week.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the Government has only "very narrow" scope to ease restrictions and that they will be taking a "cautious" approach to reopening the country due to the "stubbornly high" Covid-19 figures.

By mid-July, Minister Coveney says, "the majority of people will be vaccinated and this could lead to a more positive picture."