#Covid-19: Varadkar lists the 5 reasons why people can leave their homes from next week
"The only thing that is inevitable is the spread of the virus."
Leo Varadkar has confirmed that it is safe to begin reopening Ireland's economy.
The Taoiseach said today that Phase One of the country's easing of restrictions will begin next week, May 18, allowing some people to return to work, and small gatherings to occur outdoors.
Hardware stores, gardening centres, and farmer's markets will also reopen with social distancing measures in place. It is encouraged that face coverings be worn in busy stores and on public transport.
Varadkar encouraged the public to continue staying home, but added that people can now leave their homes safely for the following five reasons:
1. To go to work if your workplace is open and you can't work from home
2. To shop for items that you need
3. To exercise with a 5km radius of your home
4. To travel for medical reasons or to care for others
5. To meet friends or family outdoors in groups of no more than four, while social distancing
"Extreme vigilance will be required until a vaccine is found," he said.
"Everyday we need to follow the basic public health and hygiene advice (...) Nothing is guaranteed, and the only thing that is inevitable is the spread of the virus.
"Coronavirus is an inferno that is raging around the world. In Ireland it is a fire in retreat, but it is not defeated. We much extinguish every spark and quench every ember."
Varadkar went on to say that the easing of restrictions next week is "not a cause for celebration."
"We have still got a long way to go and there will be bumps in the road, and we have to keep our guard up," he said.
The Taoiseach added that people need to continue to follow the health and hygiene guidelines involving hand washing, coughing into your elbow, and maintaining a two metre distance from others.
"Everything is provisional and reservable," he said. "Our progress depends on all of us continuing to do what we have been doing."