Some non-essential retail and other businesses are reopening to the public as Ireland eases out of its second lockdown. A Government decision to lift Level 5 restrictions will also see the hair and beauty industry and gyms and leisure centres open their doors after six weeks of closures.
Restaurants and pubs that serve food will remain shut until Friday in line with the Government’s plans to reopen on a phased basis.
As Covid-19 restrictions ease country-wide, health chiefs have issued warnings not to gather in crowded areas.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan also said that office Christmas parties should not be happening and pointed out the link between infection and socialisation while urging people to reduce their number of contacts.
He said alcohol has been “a very significant common factor in a lot of the kinds of social experiences in which transmission has occurred”.
HSE boss Paul Reid said on Tuesday morning that the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital has come down to 222, with 30 people in ICU.
Mr Reid tweeted: “Today, as society and the economy opens up, let’s all take precautions to value and protect into December the great progress that we’ve made.
“We all want to open up and stay safe.”
Gardai will also scale back many of their check points as the country moves from Level 5 to Level 3.
The fixed checkpoints on motorway and dual carriageway routes will no longer be in place.
However, under Operation Fanacht more than 100 checkpoints will remain in place on main routes to monitor inter-county travel.
Gardai said there will also be patrols that will focus on the night-time economy.
As restrictions are eased, wedding guests and mourners at funerals will be limited to 25 while no organised indoors events are permitted.
Gatherings of up to 15 people are allowed outdoors, while non-contact training may take place outdoors and in pods of 15, while individual training is permitted indoors.
Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools were reopening for individual training from Tuesday.
Hotels, B&Bs and non-essential retail were also resuming trading.
People are still being urged to work from home and public transport is limited to 50%. People have also been advised to stay within their own county.
Places of worship, museums, galleries, libraries and cinemas will also reopen, but wet pubs are closed except for takeaways.
The Government has also recommended that the public should wear face coverings in crowded places.