This is an overview of Phase 2 of the Government’s “roadmap for modifying restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic”. Phase 2 is due to commence on the 8th June. There are 5 phases in total with a three week period between the commencement of each phase

Based on a 3 week review process, the current phases would commence on the following dates:
Phase 118th May
Phase 28th June
Phase 329th June
Phase 420th July
Phase 510th August

 

As we progress through these reopening measures, we will be giving an overview of each of the phases here on our website. Our information here is taken from the “Roadmap for reopening society and business” document published on gov.ie

It is important to remember that “The National Public Health Emergency Team’s (NPHET) Public Health Framework is a living document and will be subject to regular review in the context of the progression or suppression of the disease in Ireland at different points in time; new guidance and evidence which emanate from the research, experience and findings of international bodies and of other countries”.

There is no assurance that it is safe to reduce social distancing measures so this will remain in place and stricter measures will have to be reintroduced if there is a strong upsurge of infection rates. Ideally a ‘whole of country’ approach will be taken, but there could potentially be a differentiated geographical approach depending on circumstances (e.g. urban / rural).

The criteria for progressing from one phase to the next will depend on

  • Progress of disease
  • Healthcare capacity/resilience
  • Testing and contact tracing
  • Shielding at-risk groups
  • Secondary morbidity and mortality

Community Health Measures

Wearing of face coverings in community

It is now recommended that you wear face coverings in enclosed spaces such as when out shopping and on public transport

‘Stay at home’ restriction

Extend travel restrictions from 5km to 20km of your home however you should continue to avoid unnecessary journeys

Cocooning

Designate specific retail hours coordinated across all retailers for over 70s and medically vulnerable, with strict social distancing; provision of gloves, ideally wearing face coverings.

Visits to homes of over 70s and medically vulnerable by no more than a small number of persons for a short period of time wearing gloves, face coverings, maintaining strict 2m social distancing

Small groups outdoors

No change to current restrictions: Up to four people not of same household to meet outdoors while maintaining strict social distancing

Social visits

Up to four people may visit another household for a short period of time while maintaining strict social distancing

Family-type social gatherings

Slightly larger number of people in attendance at funerals (as of the time of writing a specific number has not been given) but still restricted to immediate family and close friends and limited to a maximum number of mourners for a limited period of time where social distancing can be maintained

Education & Childcare Measures  

No change to current restrictions:

  • DCYA-Supported in-reach service where registered childcare workers provide support in an essential healthcare worker’s home
  • Opening of school and college buildings for access by teachers for organisation and distribution of remote learning

 

Health & Social Care Services Measures

Increasing delivery of “non-COVID-19” care and services alongside COVID-19-care

Across phases 1 and 2 increase delivery of non-COVID-19 care and services alongside COVID-19 care to meet demand through:

  • Capacity planning for ongoing delivery of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care and services side by side, utilising modelling capability to assist in predicting demand for: primary, acute (including ICU), community, social care, mental health, disabilities and other services along the continuum of care.
  • Implement measures to ensure safe delivery of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care and services side by side.
  • Continue to deliver care and services in new ways (e.g. through telephone, online, virtual clinics etc) and new models of care to meet demand and to alleviate concerns of patients, service users and healthcare workers.
  • Communication campaign with public to:
    • encourage people to present for care when they need it,
    • advise of health and social care services initiatives to reduce risk of contracting COVID-19, and
    • what to expect in regard to non-COVID-19 care access.
  • Implement activities to mitigate risk in the provision of care and services (in addition to social distancing. measures) such as the use of masks, personal protective equipment, testing and other measures that may emerge over time.
  • Continue to support the mental health and wellbeing initiatives directed to meeting the diverse mental health and resilience needs of the public during these times.
  • Continue to maintain mechanisms to provide community support to those in vulnerable groups.

Visiting

No change to current restrictions

 

Economic Activity (Work)

Applying a risk-based approach:

  • Permit phased return of workers, such as solitary and other workers that, due to nature of work, can maintain 2m distance constantly. Social distancing requirements continue to apply.
  • Continue to maintain remote working for all workers / businesses that can do so.

Organisations to develop plans for return to onsite working by employees in light of COVID-19 considering:

  • Social distancing compliance
  • Hygiene and cleaning
  • Compliance in higher risk situations
  • Plans for medically vulnerable / pregnant etc
  • Extended opening hours to enable social distancing

State to develop mechanism for supporting, advising on, assessing, regulating planning for return to onsite working by organisations.

Retail, Personal Services and Commercial Activities

Applying a risk-based approach:

  • Small retail outlets with small number of staff on basis that the retailer can control number of individuals that staff, and customers interact with at any one time
  • Open marts where social distancing can be maintained

 

Cultural & Social Measures

Culture & Religious

Open public libraries with numbers limited, social distancing observed and strict hand hygiene on entry

Sport

  • Permit people to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, involving small group team sports training (but not matches) where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact

Transport & Travel Measures

Public health risks connected with travel include:

  • Collective and time-bound nature of public transport;
  • Numbers of vehicles (including private cars) travelling to specific destinations resulting in significant crowding at those locations and associated (e.g. urban areas, popular public amenities etc.) – which will require continued focus on social distancing and other hygiene requirements both while travelling and at destination
  • Travel from areas of higher infection rate to areas of lower infection rate potentially increasing spread
  • An ongoing requirement that people travelling in private transportation maintain social distancing and hygiene and compliance with other requirements when travelling and when at destinations

Transport and travel (national)

Public transport providers:

  • Actively restrict & monitor nos. travelling to ensure SD compliance
  • Cleaning and timetables to be enhanced to ensure SD can be complied with