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Coronavirus: What are the new rules coming into place in Republic of Ireland?

We take a look at what new measures are being brought in in the Republic of Ireland, with NI Executive set to announce further relaxations early next week.


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Photocall Ireland)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Photocall Ireland)


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Photocall Ireland)

The Republic of Ireland can start to slowly reopen on Monday after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the battle against Covid-19 is going to plan.

He said the movement into ‘Phase One’ of the roadmap to reopening was “reason to hope but it’s not cause for celebration”.

“We have a long way to go yet. There will be bumps in the road and we have to keep our guard up,” he said.

The new message from the Government is to stay at home except for one of these five reasons:

Stay at home, except:

  • To go to work if your workplace is open and you can’t work from home’
  • To shop for items you need;
  • To exercise within 5 km of home;
  • For medical reasons or to care for others;
  • To meet friends or family outdoors, in groups of no more than four.

People are now being urged to use face coverings when using busy public transport or when in enclosed indoor public areas, such as retail outlets.

Mr Varadkar said Covid 19 is “an inferno that is raging around the world” but in Ireland it is “a fire in retreat”.

“But it is not defeated. We must extinguish every spark, quench every ember.

Here's what the new Covid-19 rules mean:

Social gatherings

Up to four people who don’t live together can meet outdoors while keeping at least 2 metres apart. Everyone at meeting must be within 5km of their home.


Outdoor workers including builders and gardeners can return provided social distancing rules are applied. Everybody else, aside from essential workers like healthcare staff, must continue to operate from home.


Hardware stores, garden centres, farmers’ markets and other shops that are primarily outdoors can get back to business. Also reopening are opticians, garages, bicycle shops and stores that sell office products, electoral goods, IT and phones.

Sport & exercise

Golf and tennis are the two main sports which are allowed. Playing pitches are allowed to open if social distancing can be maintained but teams sports are banned. People can exercise in groups of up to four people where there is no contact.

Outdoor spaces

Cars parks at beaches, parks and mountain walks can reopen where people can move around freely and where social distancing can be maintained.


Teachers will be able to access school and college buildings if it helps with the distribution of remote learning.


Attendance at funerals will still be limited to 10 people.


The 5km travel limit remains in place.

Stay at home

You should still stay at home as much as possible.


Those over 70 or considered vulnerable should continue to stay at home except for their daily exercise.

Belfast Telegraph