Ireland further eases Covid curbs


A number of Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland have been eased, including allowing people to travel between counties across the country which had been banned since last Christmas, but non-essential international travel is still not encouraged.

All public transport, from Monday onwards, was permitted to run at 50 per cent capacity, up from the past 25 per cent limit, reports Xinhua news agency.

From Monday, all the personal services such as hairdressers, barbers and beauticians were allowed to restart their business after being closed for nearly four and a half months, but customers must make appointments for such services in advance.

All non-essential retail outlets can start click-and-collect services, but they are not permitted to provide indoor services until May 17, according to a plan previously announced by the Irish government.

The government, starting from Monday, also allowed the reopening of all the indoor sports and cultural public facilities such as gyms, galleries, museums and libraries after having shut them down since the end of the last year.

It also allowed more people for outdoor gatherings, weddings and funerals. They include 15 people in maximum for outdoor gatherings for social or training purposes and 50 people in maximum for a wedding or funeral.

From Monday, a maximum number of three households or six people from any number of households were also allowed to meet in their gardens, but indoor visits to other households are still prohibited unless people are vaccinated.

Ireland has seen its Covid-19 situation stabilizing for the last couple of months with the daily number of confirmed cases in the country averaging at about 425 in the last five days.

To date, Ireland has recorded 253,189 confirmed cases and 4,921 deaths.

Over 1.82 million people in Ireland have been partially or fully vaccinated against Covid, accounting for nearly 37 per cent of the country’s total population.