The Irish government has set out its plans for re-opening the country over the summer – including the adoption of a COVID-19 certificate so that people can travel abroad more freely.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin confirmed the details on Friday evening following a cabinet meeting to sign-off on the proposals.
Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world
Mr Martin said the sense of “hope, excitement and relief” is palpable as he set out the following roadmap:
• 2 June – hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and self-catered accommodation will reopen
• 7 June – outdoor hospitality such as pubs and restaurants will return, as will gyms and cinemas, while the number of people allowed to gather at outdoor events will be 100 or up to 200 in larger venues
• 11 June – Proposed trial events at the Leinster v Dragons rugby match at the RDS, Shamrock Rovers v Finn Harps, and Cork City v Cabinteely could all take place
• 5 July – indoor dining at restaurants and pubs will be allowed, and up to 50 guests will be able to attend weddings
• 19 July – Ireland will adopt a COVID-19 certificate to help citizens move more freely across the EU, and also apply broadly the same approach to arrivals from the US and Britain
• 5 August – indoor events can have 100 people attending, with 200 attending in larger venues. Also, the 50% capacity restrictions on public transport will be lifted
Ireland also hopes to permit a staggered return of employees to their offices from August, with the advice to continue to work from home unless necessary until then.
Ministers will set out new fiscal support next week to help pubs and restaurants that do not serve food and the live events sector, Mr Martin said.
He added: “We are almost back to a point where we can just enjoy the ordinary, extraordinary moments in our lives. The sense of hope, excitement and relief is palpable.
“But as we watch what is happening across the globe, we, of course, know that we must remain vigilant against this terrible virus. We know there have been many twists and turns on this journey.
“I have talked many times about the strength that is found in solidarity and how managing the pandemic must be a collective effort.
“This coming month could be the most important test of that spirit that we have faced since this ordeal began.”
Under the EU certification scheme:
• People who are vaccinated, have had a negative test, or have recovered from the virus can travel freely around the bloc
• Ireland’s plan will require children aged between seven and 18 to have a negative test before arriving in Ireland, regardless of departure point
• Passengers from outside the European bloc can also travel freely with valid proof of vaccination as long as the countries they arrive from are not high risk
• People coming from outside the EU who have not been vaccinated must have a negative test and self-quarantine until a second test after their arrival
• The approach to travel outside the EEA (European Economic Area) will apply to Britain and the US, big tourism markets for Ireland
Ireland has had more than 250,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic, with 4,941 deaths.
On Friday, an additional 467 cases were confirmed, with 99 people currently in hospital with the disease, 38 of them in intensive care.
Source: Read Full Article