Your guide to the upcoming changes
Government announces phased easing of public health restrictions.
From Department of the Taoiseach
|Schools||In-school teaching to fully return|
|Meeting other households||You can meet 1 other household outside but not in your garden or theirs|
|Travel||You can travel within your county or within 20km of your home if crossing county boundaries|
|Construction||All residential construction can restart as well as early-learning and childcare projects|
|GAA||Training for and playing of National Governing Body sanctioned and organised adult intercounty National Gaelic Games Leagues not including under 20 or minor competitions|
|Elite sport||High performing athletes, as approved by Sport Ireland, can resume|
|Outdoor sport||Outdoor sports facilities can reopen (for example: pitches, golf courses and tennis courts, other facilities as appropriate)|
|Outdoor attractions||Outdoor visitor attractions can reopen (for example: zoos, open pet farms, heritage sites). Amusement parks are not permitted to open|
|Underage sport||Underage non-contact outdoor training and dancing in pods of 15 or fewer can restart|
|Funerals||Maximum attendance at funerals will increase to 25|
|Full reopening of construction activity|
|Phased return of non-essential retail commencing with click and collect and outdoor retail, for example: garden centres/nurseries|
|Recommencement of personal services on a staggered basis|
|Reopening of museums, galleries and libraries|
|Recommencement of religious services on a staggered basis|
In line with the plan set out in COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021: The Path Ahead, the government has today announced the continued phased easing of restrictions for the month of April, to commence on 12 April.
After taking full account of the current status of COVID-19 in the community, and the public health advice, the government has come to the view that a widespread lifting of restrictions in advance of substantial vaccination would lead to unacceptable increases in infections, hospitalisations and deaths – and thus the very real prospect of having to, once again, reintroduce restrictions.
The better and safer approach is to continue with a phased easing of restrictions until a substantial level of vaccination has been achieved, and then reopen our society. The vaccination programme has entered its second phase, seeing a significant increase in the scale and speed of vaccinations.
As the vaccine programme is scaled up, people are encouraged to stay local and to continue to choose outdoor options over indoor options where possible.
The following phased easing of restrictions will begin on 12 April and continue through the month:
- full return to in-school teaching
- two households can meet up with one another outdoors for social and recreational purposes (this does not include private gardens). Any meetings outdoors should be safe with continued practising of social distancing and other safe behaviours. Masks should be worn in crowded outdoor spaces
- travel restrictions will be relaxed to enable travel within own county or within 20km of residence if crossing county boundaries
- all residential construction projects can recommence
- Early Learning and Childcare and school aged childcare services will be added to list of essential services for construction activity during these restrictions to align with the current exemption to primary and secondary schools (where school building projects are progressing) and to allow important fire safety works to progress
Expansion of elite sports to include:
- training for and playing of National Governing Body sanctioned and organised adult intercounty National Gaelic Games Leagues, not including under 20 or minor competitions
- certain high performing athletes as approved by Sport Ireland, in a range of sports
- outdoor sports facilities can reopen (for example: pitches, golf courses and tennis courts, other facilities as appropriate). See notes to editors for further details
- outdoor visitor attractions can reopen (that is, zoos, open pet farms, heritage sites). Amusement parks are not permitted to open. See notes to editors for further details
- underage non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15 can recommence for all exercise activities that can be delivered outdoors including dance
- maximum attendance at funerals will increase to 25 on compassionate grounds. Linked gatherings should not take place before or after funeral services
- current guidance for those most vulnerable to the severe impacts of COVID-19 – the over 70s and the medically vulnerable – will be aligned with that for the general population (for example: regarding use of public transport, going to shops)
- those who have the full protection of the vaccine may visit indoors with one other household who also has full protection. See notes to editors for further details
The restrictions that are currently in place continue to have a considerable impact on the social and economic wellbeing of the community. However the vaccination programme gives us a pathway to a return to economic and social activity.
In the meantime Government’s community support, well-being programmes, employment and business supports continue, with the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and COVID-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit applicable to 30 June.
The measures announced today will continue up to the 4th of May, at which point the following areas will be under consideration:
- full reopening of construction activity
- phased return of non-essential retail commencing with click and collect and outdoor retail, for example: garden centres/nurseries
- recommencement of personal services on a staggered basis
- reopening of museums, galleries and libraries
- recommencement of religious services on a staggered basis
- outdoor sports facilities can reopen (for example: pitches, golf courses and tennis courts, other facilities as appropriate). Activities should take place between a maximum of two households. Facilities including club houses and any indoor facilities (for example: changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms), apart from essential toilet facilities must remain closed. There should not be any return to team sports or training activities
- outdoor visitor attractions can reopen (that is, zoos, open pet farms, heritage sites but not amusement parks) – indoor areas should remain closed and hospitality should only be open for take-away services. Robust protective measures, including appropriate capacity limits, should be in place
- those that are fully vaccinated may visit with other fully vaccinated people (from one other household only) indoors without wearing masks or staying 2 metres apart. Full protection is not in place if it has been less than 2 weeks since the second vaccine dose. If a second dose is still awaited, enhanced protected measures should continue to be applied