Coronavirus: Ireland's restrictions eased for over 70s

By Shane Harrison
BBC Ireland Correspondent

Irish police on O'Connell Street, DublinImage source, PAUL FAITH/Getty Images
Image caption,
The road map out of the lockdown will see Ireland begin its "journey to a new normal"

People over 70 in the Republic of Ireland who have been cocooning in their homes because of Covid-19 can now go out and exercise.

The relaxation was announced by the taoiseach (Irish prime minister) on Friday as part of a roadmap for lifting the current restrictions.

Over 70s can go for walks as long as they adhere to social distancing.

They are instructed to avoid contact with others, observe cough etiquette and not to touch surfaces while out.

Those now exercising outdoors must also immediately wash their hands upon returning home.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
People over 70 have been cocooning in their homes in Ireland during the pandemic

'New normal'

In a live televised address to the nation on Friday evening, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the road map will see Ireland begin its "journey to a new normal".

The five-phase road map will see a gradual relaxation of the lockdown in the country at three-weekly intervals, that can be reversed if the virus returns in a significant way.

During all five phases, social distancing rules and cough etiquette will continue to apply, with each stage dependent on the success of the previous one.

The 2km exercise limit that was in place for the Irish population from Tuesday has been extended to 5km

Pubs, bars and night clubs are due to open from 10 August in stage five, but some have argued that they should restart commercial activity at the same time as restaurants and cafes on 29 June.