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Zoos and wildlife parks, tennis and golf: Here's what restrictions are changing today

Zoos and wildlife parks are permitted to reopen from today.

Baby Asian elephants at Dublin Zoo
Baby Asian elephants at Dublin Zoo
Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

ZOOS AND WILDLIFE parks, outdoor tennis courts and golf courses are permitted to reopen today as a number of Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease.

For the past four months, Ireland has been under Level 5 restrictions – with all non-essential retail, services like hairdressers, cultural institutions, gyms, pubs and restaurants closed – and severe restrictions on families and friends meeting each other.

The government’s reopening plan began with the gradual return to school buildings in February, starting with children with special educational needs. 

Since then, the government has been grappling with balancing the public health priority to keep Covid-19 cases as low as possible as the vaccination rollout slowly ramps up, and giving the public a break from severe societal restrictions, particularly as the weather improves and more safe socialising is possible outdoors.

Since 12 April, the 5km travel restriction has been extended to allow people to travel within their county boundaries, or within 20km of their home. 

As of today, tennis played outdoors and golf can resume as well as outdoor sports training for under 18s.

For the past few months, up to 10 people are currently allowed to attend a funeral – this is increased to 25 as of today. There is no change for the number of people allowed at weddings – it stays at 6 guests who are allowed.

Zoos and wildlife parks are also permitted to reopen from today. 

Dublin Zoo is opening its doors this morning with reduced capacity. 

Tickets went on sale last week, and are only available on Dublin Zoo’s website and not at its gate. 

Inside the zoo, a one-way system is to be in place along with hand sanitising stations and signs reminding people about social distancing and hygiene.

In Cork, Fota Wildlife Park also reopening today with health and safety measures in place.

Similar to Dublin Zoo, tickets for Fota will only be available by pre-booking on its website. Tickets can be booked a maximum of a week in advance.

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Kildare’s Clonfert Pet Farm is reopening its gates today, too. 

Further south, Ardmore Open Farm and Wildlife Park in Waterford is reopening on Saturday, 1 May.

The National Reptile Zoo, located in Kilkenny, is hoping to reopen on 4 May, pending confirmation.

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