Indoor house visits and the opening of the hospitality sector are set to remain banned under the Government’s new strategy for “Living with Covid-19.”
The Irish Times reports that the strategy will set out plans for a staggered return of construction and in-person schooling.
Sources involved in the plan said that no dates will be explicitly set out for the reopening of the economy and society, but that progress should be made in May or June amid increased vaccinations.
Though restrictions may be relaxed to allow people to meet outdoors, the current ban on house visits is likely to be extended.
The hospitality sector may begin reopening on an outdoor basis from the May bank holiday onwards, industry sources believe.
A phased indoor reopening of the sector may be possible later in the summer, depending on the level of the virus in circulation.
The Government is cautiously optimistic that mass gatherings of more than 50 people will be achievable in September, when a large mass of the population has been vaccinated.
The revised Government plan will also see the extension of pandemic welfare supports.
There will be new commitments in relation to coronavirus antigen testing and greater levels of genomic sequencing.
Talks between teachers’ unions and the Department of Education regarding the Leaving Certificate are set to resume on Monday, following discussions over the weekend.
There are also parallel talks ongoing about the general reopening of schools, with March 1st being examined as a potential date for reopening primary schools on a phased basis, according to Government and union sources.
For secondary schools, a phased return is being examined from late February or early March, beginning with sixth-year students.
Meanwhile, GPs will begin taking delivery this morning of vaccines for people aged over 85, with vaccinations set to start later today or tomorrow depending on arrival times.