Easing of Covid restrictions
Today brings a substantial easing of Covid-19 restrictions, with the reopening of outdoor sports facilities, zoos and other outdoor visitor attractions.
As restrictions continue to relax on a phased basis, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that “outdoor is the theme for the summer”.
This week will see a formal announcement on Thursday of what sectors are likely to reopen throughout May, June, July and beyond.
Taoiseach visits Dublin Zoo
Dublin Zoo reopened on Monday morning, as Ireland took its next gradual steps out of Covid lockdown.
A crowd up of to 60 people had gathered outside the gates of the zoo as it reopened to the public, along with other visitor attractions and outdoor sports facilities around the country.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin visited the Phoenix Park facility before its reopening on Monday morning.
Dr Christoph Schwitzer, director of Dublin Zoo, gave the Fianna Fáil leader a whistle-stop tour, including a visit to the lions’ and tigers’ den.
After stopping off to see a group of macaques swinging from ropes in its enclosure, Mr Martin remarked how it “would remind you of the parliamentary party”.
A “slow” reopening of the country as Covid-19 restrictions loosen will help avoid setbacks and a fourth wave of the disease, the Tánaiste has said.
With this view, the Government is set to resist pressure to accelerate the planned summer reopening of the country as case numbers remain high and only 25 per cent of the eligible population has received a first vaccine dose.
“The Government will meet this Thursday to set out a clear plan for easing restrictions in May. There will also be a clear indication of what June and July are going to be like,” Mr Varadkar said last night.
Fire crews battle blaze at Killarney National Park
Fire crews are continuing to tackle a blaze at Killarney National Park, amid hopes that helicopters will aid in dousing the final flames today.
The fire has destroyed around a third of the national park and crews worked over the weekend to bring it under control.
Chief fire officer for Kerry, Andrew Macilwraith, told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland the use of private helicopters and the air corps played a vital role in containing blazes over the weekend.