Irish government sets out a lockdown exit plan for restaurants to reopen in June

The Irish government has laid out a roadmap to reopening that will see restaurants and pubs open under strict guidelines by the end of summer.

However, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar warned that the second spike in Covid-19 cases could derail the timetable. Prime Minister Varadkar said: “Unfortunately the risk of a second wave of the virus is ever-present. So we can only move from one phase to the next if the virus stays under control between each phase. And there is a risk that we’d have to go back a phase if that happens. In any scenario, at least until we have a vaccine or effective treatment, there will be a long-term need for physical distancing, good hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, regular cleaning and for people to stay at home and isolate if they are sick.” The plan details five phases of reopening, with the first restrictions lifted on 18 May. The third phase would include the opening of cafes and restaurants on 29 June, but with strict social distancing and enhanced cleaning requirements. Pubs, bars and nightclubs are the last businesses to reopen under the plan, which was published this weekend. They would be included in phase five of the lifting of measures, to be enacted on 10 August.