PEOPLE in Ireland who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 may be permitted to return to shops and get their haircut as early as the first week of May, according to reports.
Although lockdown restrictions are expected to last well into the summer, it's understood that Government is considering easing restrictions for those who have had their jabs, both as a way to re-boot the retail sector and to try and encourage people to get vaccinated.
A phased reopening of non-essential retail, as well as an easing of travel restrictions, may form a key part of their 'vaccine bonus' scheme, according to the Irish Examiner.
It's understood that Government hopes to lift all travel restrictions in the country from June, despite earlier indications that the public would have to wait until July.
The 5km travel limit for non-essential journeys will be lifted on April 12, when citizens will be allowed to travel anywhere so long as it's within their own county, but any further relaxation relies heavily on Covid-19 transmission rates in the country.
Overall, the rollout of the vaccine remains Ireland's easiest path to a reopened society, and while the programme has stuttered for weeks due to frequent supply issues, signs of progress are beginning to show.
Earlier this week Ireland administered its one millionth Covid-19 vaccine, and Tanáiste Leo Varadkar promised that by the middle of May, the majority of adults in the country will have received at least one jab.
"I know a lot of people might feel that they're never going to get vaccinated. We're going to surprise you," Varadkar said on Monday.
"We anticipate that by the middle of May the majority of adults will have had their first dose, and the over 70s will have been fully vaccinated.
"And by the end of June the vast, vast majority, more than 80% of people, will have been offered the first dose."