People who are fully vaccinated may be permitted to return to shops and hairdressers from the first week in May as part of the latest easing of restrictions being considered by the Government.
The phased reopening of non-essential retail could form part of the ‘vaccine bonus’, according to the Irish Examiner, while plans to further ease travel restrictions are also being discussed.
The Government is said to be hoping to permit nationwide travel from June, despite earlier indications that it would be July before such journeys were permitted.
The 5km travel limit for non-essential journeys is due to be lifted on April 12th to allow for intercounty travel as part of the last update issued by the Government at the end of March.
Meanwhile, click and collect services, which had been suspended after Christmas, are expected to return from May 4th, and the phased reopening of hairdressers and beauty salons is hoped to begin in mid-May.
However, the easing of restrictions continues to rely on the transmission of the virus in the community and the overall outlook of the virus in the State. According to a statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on Wednesday afternoon, Ireland’s national 14-day incidence rate is now 151.6 cases per 100,000.
Despite optimistic signs, the Cabinet is not due to announce the next update on restrictions until the end of April.
The rollout of the vaccine remains a major factor in the reopening of the country, with the portal for booking Covid-19 vaccines due to open during the week of April 19th.
The timeline for when various age groups can expect to receive their first dose of the vaccine has not yet been set, however, the HSE’s Paul Reid has said almost 4 million doses of the vaccine is expected to arrive in Ireland over the next three months.