LISTEN: Irish Government to ease some COVID-19 restrictions

By Q Radio News and PA.

The Irish Government has approved the first phase of easing Covid-19 restrictions from Monday.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the announcement is not cause for celebration.

"We have a long way to go and we have to keep our guard up," he added.

"The next review will take pace on June 5. We need to keep following these guidelines.

"Our progress depends on all of us doing what we have been doing.

"As we come into contact with more people the opportunity for the virus to spread increases.

"To go to work if your workplace is open, to shop for items you need and exercise within 5km of home, for medical reasons and to meet friends or family."

New figures from the Republic of Ireland today reveal 16 new deaths from COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,518.

Mr Varadkar has urged the public to wear face coverings when on public transport and in enclosed spaces.

"The only thing that is inevitable is the spread of the virus if we don't push it back," he added.

"We are bound together in this great national effort and we must rely on each other."

Mr Varadkar said from Monday, the public will be able to meet small groups of four people outside while keeping two metres apart.

"Some mainly in outdoor work will be able to start work again, for example construction work, gardeners and people tending to allotments," he added.

"Some more stores will reopen and you will be able to shop again in garden centres, hardware stores, and farmers' markets, or get your eyes tested or your car, motorbike or bicycle fixed.

"As part of your daily exercise you will be able to play a game of tennis, or a round of golf, exercise and fitness classes outdoors in small groups of up to four people, once you don't travel beyond 5km to do so.

"Some public amenities such as public beaches and mountain walks will reopen.

"In every single case it is vital that we maintain a physical distance of 2 metres."

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