Government’s five phase plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions Ireland

The phases run from the 18th of May to the 10th of August 2020
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The Government have created a five phase plan to roll back COVID-19 restrictions currently in place across Ireland. The first phase begins on the 18th of May and the last phase is set to start on the 10th of August, depending on whether the rates of COVID-19 stay low during that time. The purpose of the phases are to try and and keep the rate of transmission of the virus low, while bringing back some form of normality to people’s daily lives. If during the phases the number of COVID-19 cases rises again, some of the lifted restrictions may be put back in place to help slow the spread of the virus. 

The Government have also extended the distance in which you can exercise outside your home to up to five kilometres. People who are cocooning are now also allowed to leave their houses for brief exercise during the day. 

What are the phases to lift COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland?

Phase one (18 May)

Phase one will: 

  • allow outdoor meetings between people from different households
  • open up childcare for healthcare workers
  • begin phased return of outdoor workers
  • open retailers which are primarily outdoor or those which were open during first level of restriction (e.g. opticians)
  • open certain outdoor public amenities (such as sports pitches) 

Phase two (8 June)

Phase two will: 

  • allow visits to households
  • develop plans and supports to open up business with consideration for safety of staff and customers
  • open small retail outlets and marts where social distancing can be observed
  • open public libraries

Phase three (29 June)

Phase three will: 

  • allow small social gatherings
  • begin opening of crèches, childminders and pre-schools for children of essential workers in phased manner
  • begin return to work for those with low levels of interaction
  • open non-essential retail outlets with street level entrance and exit
  • open playgrounds

Phase four (20 July)

Phase four will: 

  • see opening of crèches, childminders and pre-schools for children of all other workers on a gradually increasing basis
  • begin return to work for those who cannot work from home
  • start gradual easing of restrictions for higher risk services (e.g. Hairdressers)
  • begin opening of museums, galleries, places of worship

Phase five (10 August)

Phase five will: 

  • allow larger social gatherings
  • see return to work across all sectors
  • on a phased basis, commencing at the beginning of the academic year 2020/2021, begin opening of primary and secondary schools and 3rd level institutions
  • further easing of restrictions on high risk retail services

To find more detailed information on the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions visit

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