The dawn of a post-COVID-19 lockdown exit future gives rise to shoots of optimism amongst local communities impacted by a virus which has intruded on daily lives, in both personal and professional capacities.
To date, communities have worked cohesively, with much resilience and sacrifice, to save lives and protect the health service during this global pandemic which has impacted on a local level.
Commencing on Monday, May 18, over a carefully planned five phase eventuality, it is hoped that our social and economical lives will return to a semblance of normality as life after lockdown is negotiated.
Each phase will enact on a three week basis with August 10 being a date very much etched into the minds of all communities locally and nationwide and the aspiration that there is a positive future to which to look forward.
There is now a clear roadmap for reopening business, retail, transport, education, sporting and cultural activities, with plans to ease restrictions on social visits to enable family members and friends to meet.
There is, in place, a clear manner to move from phase to phase with the priority being to minimise the number of persons who will get the infection.
Pertinent Phase Measures
Phase 1 - May 18
Small groups permitted to meet outdoors
Childcare for essential healthcare workers provided
Phased return of outdoor workers
Retail (outdoor in nature ) to open subject to social distancing
Opening of select public amenities
Phase 2 - June 8
Visits to households permitted
Travel limit extended to 20km but no unnecessary journeys
Limited return to onsite working subject to compliance
Small retail outlets and public libraries with control of numbers to open
Small groups of sports teams training permitted (no matches )
Phase 3 - June 29
Phased opening of creches and pre-schools for children of essential workers
Return to low interaction work
Open non-essential retail outlets with street level access
Open cafes and restaurants providing on-premises food and beverages
Behind closed doors sporting activities
Phase 4 - July 20
Travel beyond home area with short but slightly larger home visits and small social gatherings
Phased opening of creches, childminders and pre-schools for all
Return to work where employees cannot remotely work
Gradual easing of restrictions on higher-risk services (hairdressers )
Museums, galleries and places of worship open
Swimming pools open
Gradual decrease of restrictions in major urban centres
Phase 5 - August 10
Travel beyond home area with larger social gatherings permitted
Schools, third level and adult education centres open on a phased basis for 2020/21 academic year
Phased return to work across all sectors with remote work continuing for all those who can do so
Further easing of restrictions on higher-risk services (shopping centres )
Pubs, bars, theatres, cinemas open
Gyms open with close physical contact sports permitted
Resume tourist travel to offshore islands
The public MUST bear in mind that social distancing two metre rule will remain in place as the country continues the reopening process.