Lockdown in Ireland: which rules are being lifted and when?

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Ireland is in ‘the final stretch of this terrible journey’ as he outlined the country’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Level 5 lockdown in Ireland has been in place since late December 2020, but yesterday Taoiseach Micheál Martin outlined the plans for the easing of restrictions.

The plan includes small changes that will be put in place in April with the continued easing of restrictions over successive months until life in Ireland can go more or less back to normal.

So, here is everything you need to know about lockdown in Ireland, dates to be aware of, and which rules are being lifted.

Changes from now – slowly coming out of lockdown

Lockdown in Ireland rules ease as the vaccination rollout continues.
Credit: Flickr / Ariel Javellana

From now, two people who have been fully vaccinated – those who have received both doses of the vaccine and waited 14 days after their final dose – will be able to meet indoors.

Martin describes this change as an attempt to allow Ireland’s “oldest citizens who have had a particularly difficult year to reconnect.”

Initial dates laid out for the easing of restrictions were set for 5 April, but with case numbers remaining high and the emergence of the B117 variant, this has been pushed back to 12 April.

What to expect from 12 April – changes to the rules

Two people will be able to meet outside socially.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

From 12 April, the 5 km rule will be scrapped, and people will either be allowed to travel anywhere within their county or 20 km from their home – depending on which one is further, even if it means crossing county borders.

Two people will also be able to meet outdoors socially and not just for exercise from this date. However, this is restricted to a public area and meetings in private gardens will remain prohibited.

Changes to lockdown in Ireland rules for sports teams will begin on 19 April when “additional high-performance training will be permitted”, said the Taoiseach.

He continued, “From 26 April, outdoor sports training for under 18s can begin again, golf and outdoor tennis can be played, and we will be able to access outdoor visitor attractions like zoos and wildlife parks.”

The number of mourners permitted to attend funerals will also be increased from 10 to 15 on 26 April.

Changes from May – continued vaccine rollout

Lockdown in Ireland rules are set to continue to ease.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

With the vaccine rollout set to “dramatically increase” in April, May, and June, more easing of lockdown in Ireland rules are set to take place as we move into summer.

Martin said that from May, they plan to look at “a phased reopening of non-essential retail, personal services, all non-contact sports training, religious services, museums, galleries and libraries, and additional freedoms for those who are fully vaccinated.”

The Taoiseach also stated that by June, B&Bs and guesthouses might be allowed to reopen as long as case numbers remain low. However, there was no mention made of the plans for pubs and restaurants.

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