- 31 Mar 21
There's been a decidely mixed reaction to the easing of some Level 5 restrictions...
Yesterday, the government announced that they would finally begin easing Covid-19 restrictions on Irish residents, beginning on April 12.
The long-awaited announcement included a gradual rollout of increased services and events, and the decision to change the vaccination programme from a profession-based system to an age-based one.
“There are many, many genuine and justifiable arguments that can be made in respect of many professions, if we are honest, but we want to make sure we can get vaccinations rolled out as quickly as we possibly can so we can get greater protection to those who need it most,” said Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
The main takeaways from the announcement include:
5km travel limit will be extended county-wide and within 20km radius
Partial return to construction will start in mid-April
GAA senior county training to resume
Golf and tennis could resume
Zoos and places of heritage will open
Outdoor training for under-18s can resume
Funeral attendance will rise to 25
Museums and galleries will start reopening
Click and collect retail services can resume
Hairdressers can resume services
There was little information given about the reopening of pubs and restaurants, and publican groups like Irish Vintner's Association have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of government communication about when they can expect to return to their livelihoods.
"We can consider hospitality in June" says @LeoVaradkar at Government press conference. What does tghat mean? No mention of "hospitality" (just hotels, B&Bs, Guesthouses) in @MichealMartinTD address. So more confusion from top of Govt. #OpenTogether
— VFI (@VFIpubs) March 30, 2021
"Not even a mention of pubs in @MichealMartinTD address. 50, 000 staff and families needing hope and a roadmap simply ignored. Unbelievable!" said one tweet from the organisation.
— VFI (@VFIpubs) March 30, 2021
Elsewhere, young people have also expressed confusion and frustration over the government's response to Covid-19, with one Twitter user predicting that young people in the country will be looking to emigrate elsewhere once the pandemic has cleared.
All of Ireland’s young people emigrating after covid, courtesy of our delightful government xoxo pic.twitter.com/032TZV00SG
— Aoife💃🏽💃🏽 (@aoifeslattsx) March 25, 2021
In response to the news that two fully vaccinated people will be allowed to meet indoors from April 12, columnist Oliver Callan wrote: "...great news for private school teachers, relatives of people in the know, lads who know fellas 'high up', the wink-wink classes and the someones who know anyone with a bag of jabs."
Fully vaccinated can meet indoors! Great news for private school teachers, relatives of people in the know, lads who know fellas 'high up', the wink-wink classes and the someones who know anyone with a bag of jabs #LockdownIreland https://t.co/rLB2lT3FCB
— Oliver Callan (@olivercallan) March 30, 2021
Others, like writer Paul Howard, have tried to make light of the situation by poking fun at the government's new announcement.
Have they named them yet? https://t.co/i3miZQifqK
— Paul Howard (@AkaPaulHoward) March 30, 2021