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Leo Varadkar Announcement: Gyms, hairdressers and churches to reopen from June 29



Hairdressers, churches, cinemas and gyms will begin to reopen from June 29, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced.

ollowing discussions with the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), cabinet has signed off on new guidelines that will allow the reopening of hairdressers and barbers to be brought forward to this phase.

Under the original roadmap, hairdressers were due to reopen on July 20 but that date has been forward as part of revised phase three.

All sporting activities have also been given the go ahead to resume activities on June 29, “with a very limited numbers of spectators.”

Gyms and swimming pools are permitted to reopen on the condition that they limit numbers and adopt a strict hygiene policy.

In an address to the nation this evening, Mr Varadkar said that under this phase, cinemas and theatres can reopen as groups of up to 50 people will be allowed to attend events in enclosed space up to July 20, adding that thereafter, “all going well, this will rise to 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.”

He said: “After studying the expert advice of Nphet, cabinet today approved the rephasing of the roadmap. Apart from some exceptions, most things are now being moved to phase three beginning on Monday June 29.

“I’m making this announcement today to give people time to prepare and so places can be ready to reopen. For example, churches and places of worship, gyms, cinemas, leisure facilities, and yes, hairdressers, beauticians and barbershops in phase three, which we expect to commence on Monday, June 29.

“All sporting activities, including close contact sports can resume, this includes team leagues for adults and children.”

Mr Varadkar urged that the public continues to exercise caution as part of the country’s efforts to suppress Covid-19.

“We all need to stay careful. It will not be as I was before the start of the pandemic.

“The virus hasn’t gone away, we’re all still susceptible to it. People should still work from home if they can, mass gatherings of people will be limited to 50 people indoors and 200 people outdoors, until July 20.

“As our country is reopened in a controlled and measured way personal responsibility will become more important than ever before.

“So we’re asking people to consider four things before making a decision about doing something. And at all times, evaluate the risk for yourself and to others.

“These four things are: distance, activity, time, and environment or date for short.

“Distance: Always try to stay 2 metres apart from someone else if possible.

“Activity: Wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering on public transport or in a crowded indoor space.

“Time: The amount of time you spend with a person or group increases your risk.

“Environment: Always bear in mind that a closed, poorly ventilated indoor space is much riskier than being outdoors.”

Members of the public are continuing to be advised to use a face covering (that is, a non-medical face covering) as an additional hygiene measure, when using busy public transport or when in enclosed indoor public areas, such as retail outlets.

He added that the fast-tracking of some restrictions was made possible by “the solidarity you’ve shown, and the sacrifices decisions and choices that you’ve made over the last few months, that have made it possible for us the nation to suppress this virus.”

Mr Varadkar said: “Instead of being forced back, we’ve been able to push the spread of the virus back and advance forward.

“There’s of course more work we need to do. We need to show the same determination and ambition now in leading our economic recovery, creating new jobs, getting people back to work on businesses reopened.”

He said “we cannot know for sure” how quickly the economy will bounce back, adding: “Some have asked whether there’s a limit to what we can achieve.”

Borrowing a quote from the film Mean Girls, he added: “My answer is that limit does not exist.”

“We’ve been here before. And we know the way out. We know what needs to be done on the next roadmap will be a roadmap for economic recovery, the National Recovery Plan.”

More to follow…

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