Lockdown lifts

Inter-county travel and home visits among raft of re-opening measures that begin today

Here are all the restrictions that will be lifted today.

LAST UPDATE | May 10th 2021, 9:10 AM

THE GOVERNMENT REOPENING steps up a major gear today as a raft of regulations end, including the inter-county travel ban.

From today non-essential retail will begin trading again, as well as an increase in the numbers of people who can attend outdoor gatherings.

The Government advisory states that a maximum of three households or six people from any number of households can meet up. This limit of six does not include their children aged 12 or younger.

Organised outdoor gatherings with a maximum attendance of 15 people are permitted and that goes for outdoor training for adults in pods limited to 15 people.

There is a phased reopening of non-essential retail with click and collect, in-store by appointment only. This is ahead of the full reopening of retail from 17 May.

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that today is “a day of freedom”. 

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Varadkar said as many as 100,000 people will return to work but it will take some time for businesses to bounce back.  

“Retail was changing anyway, it was going online, and the pandemic has very much accelerated that,” he said. 

There is a reopening of galleries, museums, other cultural attractions and libraries will be allowed to lend books but there will be no access to reader spaces or computers.

There are changes to religious services including funerals and weddings as 50 people can attend the service. There is still a ban on “related events” for funerals but a maximum of six people can take part in an indoor wedding reception or 15 people for an outdoor gathering.

The inter-county travel ban is lifted and there is an increase in numbers on public transport with up to 50% of normal capacity.

You can also travel between counties in Ireland to your stationary mobile home or caravan. This is only allowed if you are the owner of the mobile home or caravan.

Mobile home and caravan parks may open to facilitate owners accessing their property. However, no tourism activities, for example rental of mobile homes or pitches, are permitted and no shared facilities should be open.

For those house hunting there is a recommencement of property viewings by appointment only with licensed property sector professionals.

Rental of accommodation services remains prohibited until 2 June, which the Government briefing document said is subject to the numbers of infections at that time.

There is good news also for fully vaccinated people as from today indoor private home visiting is permitted, without masks or social distancing, on a number of grounds.

Fully vaccinated people can meet indoors with other fully vaccinated people as long as there are no more than three households present.

Fully vaccinated people can also meet indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household, provided that they are not at risk of severe illness and no more than three households are present.

Varadkar said this morning that the government supports the wider use of antigen testing as “an additional health and safety measure”. 

He added that that they are not a replacement for measures like masks and social distancing, and said the Tweet put out by supermarket Lidl at the weekend to pick up a packet of antigen tests with a barbeque and some sausages is “the wrong message”. 

He said this could “give people a sense of false reassurance”. 

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