Covid-19: What will change in Phase 2 of lifting the lockdown - and what won't

The government is expected to announce on Friday that it is moving to Phase 2 of Ireland's roadmap to reopening the country from Covid-19 restrictions.
Covid-19: What will change in Phase 2 of lifting the lockdown - and what won't

The government is expected to announce on Friday that it is moving to Phase 2 of Ireland's roadmap to reopening the country from Covid-19 restrictions.

Social:

The biggest single change for most people is the extension of the "stay at home" restriction from 5km to 20km. While people are being advised to continue to avoid non-essential travel, they can now go much further for visits or exercise.

It will also mean that up to four people may visit another home - and go inside - as long as they maintain strict two-metre social distancing. The guidance does not restrict these visitors to family members, so friends can visit each other.

People will also be able to visit their cocooning loved ones, though the roadmap says that these visits should be short and visitors should wear face coverings and gloves as well as maintain the two-metre distance. There will also be a greater number of people allowed at funerals.

Retail:

Solitary workers and those who, due to the nature of their employment, can maintain physical distancing constantly, can continue working.

The plan allows for the reopening of "small retail outlets with a small number of staff on the basis that the retailer can control the number of individuals that staff and customers interact with at any one time" and open marts. Larger stores and pubs and clubs will remain shut.

Cultural:

Public libraries will be allowed to open on a limited capacity basis, but other institutions will remain closed. Sports can return in a very limited manner, as the guidelines allow people to "engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, involving small group team sports training (but not matches) where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact".

Phase 2 will last for three weeks, with a decision on moving to Phase 3 due to be announced on June 29.

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