Leo Varadkar hailed a “day of freedom” as businesses across the country reopened and Ireland took another step out of lockdown.
This week about 12,000 businesses will reopen their doors in the Republic after months of pandemic restrictions, with up to 100,000 going back to work.
Large numbers gathered outside Penneys on Dublin’s O’Connell St on Monday, as the clothing store reopened its doors to customers by appointment.
Restrictions on inter-county travel have also lifted while some of the limitations on indoor and outdoor social gatherings have eased.
Many museums, galleries and libraries are now able to reopen and the number of people allowed to attend religious services, including weddings and funerals, has increased to 50.
Indoor wedding receptions will be capped at six people and 15 for outdoor celebrations.
Three households, or up to six people from individual households, can now meet outdoors, including in private gardens.
Vaccinated households can also meet with an unvaccinated household indoors – without masks or social distancing – provided they are not at risk of severe illness and there are no more than three households present.
This measure will enable grandparents to meet and hug other family members indoors.
Three vaccinated households are also allowed to meet indoors without masks or social distancing.
Team sports training for adults in pods of 15 is also now permitted.
The capacity allowed on public transport has also increased to 50 per cent.
Next Monday retail will reopen fully, with a variety of other restrictions due to lift in June.