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What is in Phase 3 of the accelerated plan to end the lockdown?

With the announcement that the government is once again accelerating the roadmap for reopening Ireland from the COVID-19 lockdown, exactly what will be allowed to reopen at the end of June.

The government announced on Friday that a number of measures which were previously expected to wait until Phase 4 of the COVID-19 roadmap were being brought forward.

As a result the lockdown will be almost completely lifted at the end of this month, with much of the onus shifting onto people taking personal responsibility for their own wellbeing and that of others.

Travel

Though this is not a new measure, and was already expected for June 29, all travel limits imposed for the lockdown will be lifted on June 29.

Face coverings are highly recommended for public transport or other places where social distancing may be difficult.

Education & Childcare

All adult education facilities can reopen, as can childcare businesses such as creches, pre-schools and more.

Summer camps, youth clubs, and other public amenities for children may also reopen.

Business & Hospitality

Hairdressers and salons will be allowed to reopen, welcome news for the legions of shaggy haired Irish heads in need of shearing.

The Irish Hairdressers Federation had previously presented the government with a document of guidelines which it hoped would allow its members to reopen before their previously scheduled Phase 4 timeline.

Wellbeing services like chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists and more can reopen, as can driving schools and all remaining retail outlets that haven’t already.

Driving tests as well as volunteer and other driving services may recommence.

Cafés and restaurants can resume serving people on their premises, and pubs and hotel bars which have restaurant licences may also reopen.

Guidelines for the reopening of pubs include a 1m distancing rule, 105 minute timeslots, and people must buy a substantial meal.

Hotels, hostels, and caravan parks may also reopen for guests.

Those who can work from home are advised that they should continue to do so if possible.

Social & Cultural Life

Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people, and outdoor gatherings of up to 200 may take place, so long as they adhere to public health guidance.

Specific recommendations apply to singing, choirs and playing musical instruments in groups.

museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls and other cultural outlets can reopen, as can cinemas, music venues and other leisure facilities.

However this measure excludes nightclubs and discos.

Religious venues and places of worship will also be allowed to reopen.

Sport & Fitness

Gyms, dance studios, swimming pools and other fitness facilities will be allowed to reopen.

A number of sports leagues can resume including team leagues for adults and children, close contact sports, and organised spectator sporting events and fixtures.

Speaking on Friday about the need for personal caution, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said “The virus hasn’t gone away. We are all still susceptible to it.”

“Certain types of activity are more risky than others, so we must lower that risk by taking appropriate steps, wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing, washing our hands and so on.”

“Taking personal responsibility means not entering a place if you see it is packed. It means leaving somewhere, even if you are having a good time, if you have been there beyond a certain point.

“It means exercising judgement and self-control for your own sake as well as the collective good.”

Briain Kelly
Email: news@galwaydaily.com
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