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Covid-19: Here's what restrictions will be in place from today

On Friday, the government announced changes to the coronavirus guidance for cocooners.

Some restrictions change today.
Some restrictions change today.

IRELAND’S COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS – in place since 27 March – are changing slightly from today. 

The changes, announced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Friday, are most significant for cocooners who will be allowed – albeit in a limited way – to leave their house. 

For anyone not cocooning, the main news is that the 2km limit on exercise is now extended to 5km. 

Announcing the changes on Friday, Varadkar said: “It will take some time for our lives to get back to normal to a new normal.”

“But it will happen.”

“Thanks to you, we are making a real difference in the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

Cocooning

If you are cocooning, this means you can now leave your home for exercise as long as you avoid all contact with other people. 

Cocooning – suggested for people who are over 70 years of age or are medically vulnerable – has been a major focus of discussion during the Covid-19 crisis. Many, including health minister Simon Harris, have acknowledged the difficulty of cocooning and the burden it places on people. 

Charities like Age Action, which has been working to support older people during the crisis, welcomed the shift in approach. 

The guidance changes one of the most onerous parts of the advice, which asked people to stay home at all times. 

Now, those cocooning can go outside for a walk or a drive, as long as they’re within 5km of home. 

Those cocooning are still being advised not to go into shops and to keep a space of two metres between themselves and other people. They’re also being advised to follow good hand hygiene – to not touch other people or surfaces while out walking and to wash their hands when they return home. 

Not changing

The core of the social distancing guidelines, however, do not change in a significant way. People are still advised to stay at home, unless for essential reasons such as buying food or attending medical appointments. 

After 18 May, there will be some more significant changes as Ireland embarks on a gradual re-opening as set out by the government. 

From then, outdoor work like construction and landscaping will be allowed to resume.

Some retail outlets like garden centres, hardware stores and repair shops will be allowed to re-open and some outdoor sporting and fitness activities in small groups will be allowed.

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