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Ireland takes major step along path out of lockdown as retail shops reopen

Wider movement will be permitted from Monday as well as shops and playground reopening in ‘phase two plus’ of the lock down exit plan.

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Dublin city council worker, Joe Carroll, putting down queue stickers on Henry Street, outside the Tourism Office in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dublin city council worker, Joe Carroll, putting down queue stickers on Henry Street, outside the Tourism Office in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dublin city council worker, Joe Carroll, putting down queue stickers on Henry Street, outside the Tourism Office in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ireland is taking a major step along the path out of lockdown with wider movement permitted and the reopening of retail shops.

In what Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described as “phase two plus” of his Government’s lockdown exit plan, a series of restrictions will be lifted from Monday.

Work was under way across the weekend at shops to prepare their premises for reopening with social distancing markers being placed on the ground as well as signage.

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Businesses are preparing to reopen as phase two of Ireland’s coronavirus recovery road map comes into effect on Monday (Brian Lawless/PA)

Businesses are preparing to reopen as phase two of Ireland’s coronavirus recovery road map comes into effect on Monday (Brian Lawless/PA)

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Businesses are preparing to reopen as phase two of Ireland’s coronavirus recovery road map comes into effect on Monday (Brian Lawless/PA)

All retail stores may reopen on Monday, but opening times will be staggered to relieve pressure on public transport.

More people will be able to return to work, including all those who work on their own or whose work can be done safely while staying 2m apart from others.

The new easements also allow people to travel up to 20kms from their home, groups of up to six to be able to interact indoors with social distancing and groups of up to 15 able to meet for outdoor sporting activities.

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Garda sergeant Rodger Quinn (left) speaks to Dublin city council worker, Joe Carroll, putting down queue stickers on O’Connell Street, outside Penneys in Dublin, ahead of its reopening (Brian Lawless/PA)

Garda sergeant Rodger Quinn (left) speaks to Dublin city council worker, Joe Carroll, putting down queue stickers on O’Connell Street, outside Penneys in Dublin, ahead of its reopening (Brian Lawless/PA)

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Garda sergeant Rodger Quinn (left) speaks to Dublin city council worker, Joe Carroll, putting down queue stickers on O’Connell Street, outside Penneys in Dublin, ahead of its reopening (Brian Lawless/PA)

Citizens who are aged 70 or older, or are medically vulnerable, will be able to have visitors in their homes with social distancing observed with the wearing of masks advised, while up to 25 people will be allowed to attend funerals of loved ones.

Meanwhile, public libraries will commence reopening as will playgrounds and outdoor camps for children provided there are no more than 15 people involved and some elite sports training will be possible.

Marts may reopen, and horse and greyhound racing can resume without spectators.

PA