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01st May 2020

Leo Varadkar announces lockdown extension and five stages of reopening country

James Fenton

Leo Varadkar has announced that current social distancing restrictions will be extended until May 18 with some changes.

Addressing the nation this evening, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the exercise limit has been changed from 2km from people’s homes to 5km. He also said that from Tuesday, those who have been cocooning can leave their homes for walks or drives within five kilometres, as long as they avoid human contact.

As well as that, Varadkar laid out Ireland’s ‘roadmap to reopening the country which will be carried out over five “slow, staged and phased” periods starting on May 18 with the final stage starting on August 10. Schools will remain closed until September.

Some of the businesses that will be allowed to open on May 18 are garden centres and hardware stores. Families and friends will be able to meet in small groups from this date. Sport and recreational activities will also be able to resume but only in small groups.

Varadkar will be appearing on The Late Late Show this evening from 9.35pm on RTE One.