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Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar has confirmed that Ireland is set to move into Phase 2 of the easing of restrictions from Monday, 8th June. The easing of some restrictions is being brought forward.

From Monday, 8th June: 

  • You can travel within your own county, or up to 20 km from your home, whichever is greater. These travel limits will be lifted from the end of June.
  • Groups of up to 6 people will be able to interact with each other indoors or outdoors, once they keep at least 2m apart.  Groups of up to 15 will be able to meet for outdoor sporting activities.
  • For those who are over 70 or medically vulnerable, it will be possible to welcome a small number of visitors into your home, with physical distancing observed.
  • Shops will also provide dedicated hours for those who are over 70 or in an at risk group.
  • All retail stores can reopen, but opening times will be staggered to relieve pressure on public transport.  You are encouraged to shop locally, shop safely and support businesses in your community.
  • Up to 25 people will be allowed to attend funerals of loved ones.
  • Public libraries will commence re-opening.
  • Playgrounds can reopen from Monday, and outdoor camps for children can also be run, once there are no more than 15 people involved.
  • Certain types of elite sports training will also be possible.
  • More people will be able to return to work, including all those who work on their own or whose work can be done safely while staying 2m apart from others. Working from home should remain the norm for those who can do so.
  • Marts can re-open and greyhound racing can resume without spectators.

From June 29th, the Travel Restrictions will be lifted completely and the following will reopen:

  • Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts
  • Pubs which have restaurant licences, and table service.
  • Restaurants
  • Museum, Galleries and Places of Worship (churches etc.)

Further Roadmap Phases:

The roadmap sets out Ireland’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions will now be in four phases:


Accelerated Roadmap allows for more rapid reopening of society and business

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, has today (Friday) confirmed that Ireland can move to Phase 2 of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business from Monday June 8th. The Government has also announced an acceleration of the Roadmap, which has been made possible thanks to the progress made by the Irish people in suppressing the virus, meaning certain sectors and public amenities can open earlier than previously planned. All retail stores can open from this Monday, and it is planned that the domestic tourism sector and some hospitality operators can resume from June 29th.

The acceleration of the Roadmap has been made possible thanks to the high level of compliance with social distancing and hygiene measures, and it’s vital that this continues to ensure that further progress can be made. The advice remains still to Stay Local and also to continue working from home if possible.

Speaking today the Taoiseach said:

“Today, I can confirm that it is safe to move to Phase 2 of the plan to reopen our country from Monday. This has been made possible by the considerable sacrifices you have made to restrict the spread of the virus and protect each other.

“Thanks to your perseverance in pushing back COVID-19 I am announcing an acceleration of the Roadmap. Over the last few months fear has exerted a kind of gravity pulling us down, but now we find there is hope lifting us up again.

“During this Emergency we have suffered as a country, lost loved ones, and changed the way we work and live.   We are making progress.   We are heading in the right direction.   And we have earned the right to be hopeful about the future.”

Based on the medical evidence, the recommendations of National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and Government reports on the economic and social impact of Covid-19, Cabinet today agreed to implement all elements of Phase 2 and to bring forward the actions in the remaining phases.  As we move into Phase 2, it is important that we continue to limit travel and people are being urged to Stay Local.

Under the reconfiguration of the Roadmap, there are now just two remaining phases instead of three, with Phase 3 starting on the 29th of June, and Phase 4 on the 20th of July. Further work will be carried out in the coming days and weeks to determine which actions will take place in each phase. Some measures such as bans on mass gatherings may need to remain in place well into August as will public health advice around hygiene and physical distancing.

It is vital as we accelerate the Roadmap, that we all continue to stick to the basic hygiene and social distancing measures that have become a part of our daily lives; washing our hands regularly, keeping 2 metres apart, observing coughing etiquette and avoiding crowded places.

Under Phase 2, from Monday June 8th, the following changes will come into effect:

  • You can travel within your own county, or up to 20 km from your home, whichever is greater. These travel limits will be lifted from the end of June.
  • Groups of up to 6 people will be able to interact with each other indoors or outdoors, once they keep at least 2m apart.  Groups of up to 15 will be able to meet for outdoor sporting activities.
  • For those who are over 70 or medically vulnerable, it will be possible to welcome a small number of visitors into your home, with physical distancing observed.
  • Shops will also provide dedicated hours for those who are over 70 or in an at risk group.
  • All retail stores can reopen, but opening times will be staggered to relieve pressure on public transport.  You are encouraged to shop locally, shop safely and support businesses in your community.
  • Up to 25 people will be allowed to attend funerals of loved ones.
  • Public libraries will commence re-opening.
  • Playgrounds can reopen from Monday, and outdoor camps for children can also be run, once there are no more than 15 people involved.
  • Certain types of elite sports training will also be possible.
  • More people will be able to return to work, including all those who work on their own or whose work can be done safely while staying 2m apart from others. Working from home should remain the norm for those who can do so.
  • Marts can re-open and greyhound racing can resume without spectators.

A new Summer Education Programme for children with special educational needs and disadvantage, will also commence, as the indications are that it is now safe to do so. The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe Mc Hugh, will bring proposals in this regard to Government next week.  The focus of the programme will be on students and young people with complex needs – including those who live with significant behavioural, social, emotional and sensory difficulties. Children with Down Syndrome will be included as part of our plans for this summer.

Shopping centres can re-open on June 15th provided only shops open and measures are taken to ensure people do not congregate at benches, fountains or food courts.

It is hoped that in three weeks’ time we will be able to move to a more advanced Phase 3, which would include the reopening of domestic tourism in our country, and bring forward the opening of hotels, restaurants, bars that also operate as restaurants, hostels, caravan parks, galleries and museums to the 29th of June. It is anticipated that places of worship will also be able to reopen from this point.

Social distancing measures will mean that capacity on public transport will remain very restricted, so people are encouraged to only use public transport for essential journeys, and wearing a face covering is recommended when doing so.


Full Speech of An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., Announcement of Move to Phase 2, Friday 5 June 2020

Good afternoon. As the Roman Statesman Cicero said ‘the safety of the people shall be our highest law’. This is the approach we have taken since the pandemic was declared in March. Today, I can confirm that it is safe to move to Phase 2 of the plan to reopen our country from Monday. This has been made possible by the considerable sacrifices that you have made to restrict the spread of the virus and protect others.

Thanks to your perseverance in pushing back COVID-19 I am announcing an acceleration of the Roadmap.

Over the last few months fear has exerted a kind of gravity pulling us down, but now we find there is hope lifting us up again.

During this Emergency we have suffered as a country, lost loved ones, and changed the way that we work and live. We are making progress. We are heading in the right direction. And we have earned the right to be hopeful about the future again.

Based on the medical evidence and the recommendations of NPHET and Government reports on the economic and social impact of Covid-19, Cabinet today agreed to implement all elements of Phase 2 and move further along the roadmap, a kind of Phase 2+. We have also agreed to bring forward the actions in the remaining phases. So, there will now just be four phases rather than five. Phase 3 will start on the 29th of June, and Phase 4 on the 20th of July. Under the guidance of the CMO, we will work out in the days ahead which actions will take place in each. Some measures such as bans on mass gatherings may need to remain in place well into August as will public health advice around hygiene and physical distancing.

The Tánaiste and I informed the First Minister and Deputy First Minister on these decisions earlier this morning

I have always said that we would accelerate the reopening of our country, but only if it was safe to do so. Thanks to your actions we have now reached that point, and with your help we will keep moving forward. So we all need to stick to what we have been doing right – washing our hands regularly, keeping 2 metres apart wherever possible, observing coughing and sneezing etiquette, avoiding crowded places, wearing face coverings on public transport and self isolating when sick. As we ease restrictions and meet and interact more, this will become more important.

I know this has been a particularly difficult period for those who are over 70 and those who are medically vulnerable, and many have yearned to break free from their cocooning, a term itself that some have found insulting, instead of reassuring.

Now there is hope and there is cause for hope. From Monday it will be permissible for people in this category to welcome a small number of visitors to their homes, although we are asking that physical distancing is still observed. Shops will also provide dedicated hours for those who are over 70 or in an at risk group.

It is important that people continue to avoid unnecessary travel.

So our message today and for the next three weeks is to Stay Local.

We recognise the difficulty that the travel restrictions are having, especially for people in rural Ireland. From Monday people can travel within their own county, or up to 20 km from their homes, whichever is greater. It is planned to remove these domestic travel restrictions all together at the start of Phase 3, on the 29th of June.

In the meantime, they remain legally enforceable by the Gardaí. We want people to stay local and to stay in their own county so the virus is not introduced into counties that are Covid-free today.

From Monday, groups of up to 6 people will be able to meet with each other indoors or outdoors, once they keep at least 2m apart.

Groups of up to 15 people can meet for outdoor sporting activities.

Solitary workers can return to their workplaces as can people who maintain a physical distance from others in their workplace, on a phased based. Working from home should remain the norm for those who can.

Up to 25 people will be allowed to attend funerals of loved ones, pay their respects and grieve together.

Public libraries can open on Monday.

There will be a new Summer Education Programme for children with special educational needs and disadvantage, as it is now safe to do so. Minister McHugh will bring proposals in this regard to Government next week.

Outdoor facilities and amenities for children – including commercial ones – can re-open.

Playgrounds once supervised can reopen on Monday, and outdoor camps for children can also be run, once there are no more than 15 people mixing together.

Elite athletes may return to their training facilities.

Marts can re-open and greyhound racing resume without spectators.

We are also approving the reopening of all shops from Monday.

It is important that the return to retail does not create crowding on public transport or interfere with essential workers getting to work. Therefore, shops reopening – the ones not already open – will be required to operate staggered hours, opening no earlier than 10:30am and allocating dedicated time at the start for elderly, vulnerable and at-risk groups.

Shopping malls can re-open on June 15th provided only the shops open and measures are taken to ensure people do not congregate at benches, fountains or food courts for example.

Summer is not lost and this can be a summer of hope if we keep the virus at bay.

So, Cabinet decided today to plan a return of the tourism and hospitality sectors on June 29th as part of a revised phase 3.

We want to see the return of domestic tourism in our country, and the re-opening of hotels, restaurants, hostels, caravan parks, galleries and museums from 29th of June. Making it possible for bars that also operate as restaurants to reopen. Make it possible for us to explore our country as if for the first time and rediscover the beauty that is all around us. We also want placed of worship to resume services again, with precautions.

As our country opens up and we start interacting more, personal responsibility becomes even more important than ever. We got into this fight against COVID-19 together, and we will only get out of it together.

We will be reinforcing this message in new public information campaigns over the coming days.

So, this afternoon let me end with words of hope, ‘In the end, it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer.’

Thanks to your hard-work, your choices, and your perseverance, that new day is approaching.

Thank you.


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