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Image / Editorial

Phase Three of lockdown to go ahead, travel restrictions to ease

by Jennifer McShane
25th Jun 2020

“Hope is stronger than fear… working together we can defeat any challenge”  

On Thursday evening, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar gave the green light for Phase Three of the lifting of coronavirus restrictions to go ahead from Monday.

This is as a result of a further reconfiguration of the government’s roadmap for re-opening the country.

It means that a number of activities that would have been scheduled to begin again in Phase Four can now take place in Phase Three.

Speaking this evening, Varadkar said the last three months had been tough for everyone but that we are an extraordinary people when we are at our best.”

He said the country has never had to go through something like this and we need to learn lessons and “be prepared for a second wave, or a completely different pandemic or public health emergency” in the future.

He thanked all those who assisted the government, from committees and expert groups to medical staff and frontline workers. “Not all heroes wear scrubs, sometimes wear supermarket uniforms, deliver our post, drive our buses and trains… they are the people all around us.”

What’s happening in Phase Three?

  • Pubs can reopen, with various restrictions, once they serve a “substantial” meal worth at least €9
  • All transport restrictions within Ireland will be lifted
  • Hotels, restaurants, hostels, caravan parks, galleries, cinemas and museums can reopen
  • Churches and places of worship can reopen with restrictions
  • Gyms and leisure facilities can reopen with restrictions
  • Hairdressers and barbershops can reopen with safety measures in place
  • All sporting activities, including close contact sports and all leagues, can resume, but with limited spectators
  • Mass gatherings will be limited to 50 people indoors and 200 people outdoors

Further restrictions will ease during Phase Four which is set to kick in from July 20th.

Easing of travel restrictions 

The Government also confirmed air travel restrictions will be eased on July 9th. They plan to announce a ‘green list’ of countries where no quarantine upon return will be necessary, depending on the rate of infection in these countries. The Taoiseach added that this list of accepted countries could be updated every two weeks.

“If a country ends up having a second wave, they may be taken off the list,” he said.

Read more: Thinking of travelling abroad? Here’s everything you need to consider before you embark

Read more: Face coverings are set to become compulsory on public transport

Read more: What you need to know about planning your post-Covid wedding, according to 4 wedding experts