Ireland ‘on track’ to ease restrictions on May 4, says Varadkar

Hairdressers, religious services, and non-essential retail are expected to open in May
Ireland ‘on track’ to ease restrictions on May 4, says Varadkar

In a video posted on Twitter, Leo Varadkar said he wanted to “reassure” the public that there are “lots of things to be positive about" despite concerns arising from the pausing of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and restrictions to the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Picture: Julien Behal Photography

Ireland is on track to ease restrictions on May 4 and meet its vaccine targets despite "twists and turns," the Tánaiste has said.

In a video posted on Twitter, Leo Varadkar said he wanted to “reassure” the public that there are “lots of things to be positive about" despite concerns arising from the pausing of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and restrictions to the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Of course there’s going to be twists and turns. That was always going to be the case but just wanted to reassure you about those things," he said.

Under the Government’s reopening plan, hairdressers and other personal services, religious services, as well as museums, galleries, and libraries are set to reopen on May 4.

Non-essential retail is also set to be given the green light on that date, though it is expected to be a phased re-opening, beginning with click-and-collect services and outdoor stores and garden centres.

Towards the end of May, the Government has also signalled it will look at the reopening of hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses for June.

Mr Varadkar said the country is still “very much on track” to meet the Government’s targets of between 3.5m and 4.5m vaccines being administered in the second quarter of this year.

We shouldn’t "lose sight of the bigger picture," he said.

“For the first time this year, there is less than 200 people in hospital with Covid, less than 50 people in ICU, cases are falling, the R-number is below one.

“This week, all the schools went back, the 5km rule ended and we started building homes again, so lots of things to be positive about,” he added.

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