Leo Varadkar has told the Dáil there's still a long way to travel before things can return to normal.
He's also set out the criteria the government will look at which includes the progress of the disease, the status of testing and contact tracing, and the impact on vulnerable groups.
Covid 19 restrictions will be extended for another 2 weeks with few changes.
From May 5th the travel limit will increase from 2 to 5 kilometres and older people who are cocooning will be allowed to leave their homes for exercise.
The measures were agreed by cabinet earlier, follow recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says Ireland will begin to reopen from the 18th of May.
There are 5 phases in the Roadmap to ease restrictions. Each phase consists of a menu of options will be considered by Government as it gradually opens up economic and social activities. Examples of the types of actions which will be considered under the various phases include:
Phase 1 (18th May)
· Allow outdoor meetings between people from different households
· Open up childcare for healthcare workers
· Phased return of outdoor workers
· Open retailers which are primarily outdoor or those which were open during first level of restriction (e.g. opticians)
· Opening of certain outdoor public amenities
Phase 2 (8th June)
· Allow visits to households
· Develop plans and supports to open up business with consideration for safety of staff and customers
· Open small retail outlets and marts where social distancing can be observed
· Open public libraries
Phase 3 (29th June)
- Allow small social gatherings
- Opening of crèches, childminders and pre-schools for children of essential workers in phased manner
- Return to work for those with low levels of interaction
- Open non-essential retail outlets with street level entrance and exit
- Open playgrounds
Phase 4 (20th July)
- Opening of crèches, childminders and pre-schools for children of all other workers on a gradually increasing basis
- Return to work for those who cannot work from home
- Gradual easing of restrictions for higher risk services (e.g. Hairdressers)
- Opening of museums, galleries, places of worship
Phase 5 (10th August)
- Allow larger social gatherings
- Return to work across all sectors
- On a phased basis, commencing at the beginning of the academic year 2020/2021, opening of primary and secondary schools and 3rd level institutions
- Further easing of restrictions on high risk retail services
The Roadmap also sets out a framework for future decision making, which will at all times be underpinned by public health advice. The Government will regularly assess the following criteria as we seek to keep the level of transmission low while gradually restarting our economy.
· The latest data regarding the progression of the disease
· The capacity of the health service
· The capacity of the testing and tracing system
· The measures in place to protect vulnerable groups
· An assessment of the impact of excess morbidity and mortality as a consequence of the restrictions.