When will lockdown end in Ireland?
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When will lockdown end in Ireland?

BRITISH Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the UK is targeting June 21 as the date when all Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted, and while nothing is certain - as has always been the case with this bleedin' virus - Ireland can only look on in envy.

Last week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin revealed that Ireland will remain in full lockdown for another nine weeks during an interview with the Irish Mirror.

Initially, an end to lockdown had been scheduled for March 5, but plans appear to have changed.

And despite the fact that they may very likely change again, we've compiled all available information to try and keep track of exactly when we'll be able to leave Level 5, and see our friends and family once again, along with everything else.

Here's everything we know:

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How long will this current lockdown last?

Martin said on Friday that we're due another nine weeks of solid lockdown. This will take us to the very end of April.

It'll mean that this lockdown will have lasted a whopping five months by the time it comes to an end.

Will anything be opening up before then?

The Government has torn up the Living With Covid Plan which was published last year (you know, the levels and stuff), and are about to publish a brand new one. So technically speaking this isn't really 'Level 5' as we know it anymore.

School have begun reopening, and will continue to reopen on a phased basis.

Leaving Cert students - as well as junior and senior infants, and first and second class - will be back on March 1.

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Cabinet is also expected to sign off on a plan that will see all primary school children back in the classroom by March 15.

For secondary school students, though, it could be after Easter before school returns.

Will retail reopen?

It doesn't look like non-essential retail will be reopening until lockdown ends at the end of April. Very little has been said on the matter, but it's likely more will be revealed when the Government publishes its revised Living With Covid Plan.

What about pubs and restaurants?

Bad news I'm afraid.

There don't appear to be any current plans to open the hospitality sector back up until May at the very earliest, meaning that the vast majority of pubs in Ireland will have remained closed for the best part of 14 months.

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The latest line from the Taoiseach is that pubs and restaurants won't open until "mid-summer" - which seems to imply that we won't be eating and drinking out until June or even July.

Will lockdown be lifted completely in May?

The Irish government has continually stressed that they'll be adopting a 'cautious and conservative' approach to reopening the country, so it's unlikely that restrictions will be gone once lockdown ends, as Mr Johnson has hinted at in the UK on June 21.

More will be revealed with the Living With Covid Plan, but a gradual easing of restrictions, starting in May and lasting throughout the summer, is expected.