Government wants as wide a reopening as possible in May and June 3 weeks ago

Government wants as wide a reopening as possible in May and June

Cabinet agreed to further easing of restrictions from Monday.

There's optimism in the air at Government buildings with the Cabinet agreeing on Tuesday to proceed as planned with the further easing of a number of restrictions from Monday. This includes the reopening of facilities for outdoor sports, including golf and tennis, and outdoor visitor attractions including zoos and heritage sites. The number of people who are able to attend a funeral will increase to twenty-five, but the ban on all other gatherings will remain in place.

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The news comes after several Ministers, including the Tánaiste, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, indicated in recent days that the reopening of social and economic life for May and June is on track.

According to The Irish Times, a source close to the discussions said politicians are aware that there is a growing unease among the public for the continuing lockdown as case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths continue to fall.

The Covid-19 situation in Ireland is improving slowly, just yesterday it was announced that maternity hospitals can now begin easing visiting restrictions. The clinical director of the HSE Women and Infant’s Health Programme, Dr Peter McKenna, said families and pregnant women have made “considerable sacrifices” during the pandemic. According to Dr McKenna, some maternity hospitals have slightly eased restrictions in recent days but there are still tight limits in place.

Meanwhile, publicans have also called for beer gardens to open across the country on 24 May, in line with those in Northern Ireland. The Licensed Vintners Association, which represents pubs in Dublin, yesterday launched a call to action on the 400th consecutive day of closure for wet pubs. It's encouraging Dublin publicans to contact their local politicians to ask that all pubs be allowed to reopen for outdoor service next month.

Final decisions on the easing of restrictions for May will be announced next week.