Ministers to reopen shops, restaurants and churches next week

There is a growing sense amongst Ministers that pubs not serving food will not reopen this year. Photograph: Getty Images

Ministers will next Tuesday try to ease corona virus restrictions across the Irish economy and society as the government looks at how to get out of Level 5 restrictions.

Cabinet sources from all three parties said ministers would try to reopen shops, restaurants and churches from next week. Travel restrictions will be eased in the first phase in December.

The leaders of Fianna Fil, Fine Gael and Green Party met on Monday night and agreed that the country was on track to get out of Level 5 restrictions. But sources say no final decision has been made.

The first meeting of the cabinet will be held on Tuesday morning. Taoist Michael Martin said he wanted to get “an assessment from individual ministers and their perspectives” on easing restrictions.

Several cabinet sources said they will try to resume indoor dining in restaurants from next Tuesday. At the same time, one minister argued that pubs were having a “very difficult year” and should be part of the consideration.

Despite this, there is a growing perception among ministers that pubs that do not provide food will not reopen this year.

Government officials will continue to work on plans to phase out Level 5, which will be “Level 3 with reforms”, including a change that will allow people to move from Kandy to Kandy by the end of next month.

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