The easing of public health restrictions will allow Dublin people to have some return to normality after an extremely challenging year, a Fine Gael Senator has said. The Government has announced an easing of public health measures to commence on a phased basis from the 12th of April. Senator Seery Kearney said the Government is proceeding with caution based on the NPHET advice and the current levels of Covid-19 in the country. However it is possible to begin easing some aspects of our current Level 5 restrictions as a result of the enormous sacrifices made by Dublin people.
“I am pleased to confirm that from the 12th of April, travel will be permitted within our own county or 20km of your residence if crossing a county boundary. “In the first major sign of the vaccine bonus, fully vaccinated individuals from two households may visit each other indoors two weeks after their second dose. For all others, two households can meet up for social and recreational purposes outdoors, not including private gardens. “The return to school continues apace, with 1st to 4th year post-primary students returning from the 12th of April. “Also really welcome is the news that all residential construction can recommence from the 12th of April. It is crucial we get construction moving again to cope with the demand for housing. Early Learning and Childcare and school aged childcare services will be added to list of essential services for construction activity during these restrictions.
“This will align with the current exemption to primary and secondary schools, where school building projects are progressing, and to allow important fire safety works to progress. “I know many young people are looking forward to getting back to sport in Dublin From the 19th of April, some additional high-performance training will be permitted, including senior inter-county GAA training to facilitate National League competition, starting in May. Training for certain high performing athletes approved by Sport Ireland in a range of other sports can resume from this date. “From the 26th of April, outdoor sports facilities, including pitches, golf courses, tennis courts will reopen and activities here should take place between a maximum of two households. Underage non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15 can recommence for all exercise activities that can be delivered outdoors including dance from this date.
“Outdoor visitor attractions, heritage sites, petting farms and zoos can open from the 26th of April. The number of people permitted to attend funerals will also increase to a maximum of 25 from this date. “The phased easing of restrictions are subject to the prevailing disease situation, but people can now see the light at the end of the tunnel as our vaccination programme is ramped up.
“The measures will continue up to the 4th of May, at which point the following areas will be under consideration:
- Full re-opening of construction activity.
- Phased return of non-essential retail commencing with click and collect and outdoor retail i.e. garden centres/nurseries.
- Recommencement of Personal Services on a staggered basis.
- Re-opening of Museums, Galleries & Libraries
- Recommencement of religious services on a staggered basis
“I recognise how difficult the last year has been for people in Dublin I wish to thank them for their continued efforts in adhering to the measures, and would ask them to stay the course as we work together to defeat this dreadful disease and get back to normal, Senator Seery Kearney concluded.