This week we are finally experiencing some of the summer sunshine and talk of an “outdoor summer” finally makes sense. But what does an “outdoor summer” mean? And what are the government guidelines as we continue to tackle Covid-19?
The rollout of vaccines for Covid-19 is continuing, and now people aged 40-44 can register for appointments. As of the 2nd of June, approximately 500k people have been fully vaccinated, while approximately 1.7m have received at least one dose.
While this is great news, we still need to be cautious as new variants are appearing globally, and some of the vaccines may not be fully effective against them. And while the vaccine rollout is ramping up, around 75% of the Irish people remain without any vaccine.
What are some of the changes for the summer?
Restaurants and Bars open up for outdoor dining/seating from the 7th of June. Groups of up to 6 people can book in. Indoor service reopens from the 5th of July.
Gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres can reopen for individual training from June 7th. Indoor activities such as bowling alleys, snooker halls and children’s play centres can reopen from the 5th.
Visitors to your home:
You can have visitors from one other household to your home from June 7th. This increases to visitors from 3 other households from July 5th
Fully vaccinated people can now meet indoors with other fully vaccinated people (up to a maximum of 3 households). Fully vaccinated people from a maximum of 2 households can meet indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household.
From the 5th of July, up to 200 people will be allowed at outdoor organised events for the majority of venues, while a maximum of 500 people will be allowed for outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000
For a full list of re-opening amenities check out this link.
So, what should we do to stay safe and keep our families and communities protected?
Wearing a mask on public transport, in indoor settings, and in crowded areas remains in place. For a full list, check out: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/face-coverings-masks-and-covid-19/when-to-wear.html
Guidelines for work advise that people should continue to work from home where possible. Avoiding congested office spaces helps to prevent spread.
You are still at risk of catching Covid-19 in the two weeks following your second vaccine (or the single Johnson & Johnson dose). Your body is building immunity at this time, so remain cautious in this period. For more info, check this link.
We are also still learning about the effectiveness of the vaccines against spreading the virus and against new variants. People should remain vigilant and act in line with social distancing guidelines.
Everything is subject to the latest Government and NPHET advice and the health situation at the time. A change in the number of Covid 19 cases could result in changes in the guidelines. So, keep checking https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/c36c85-covid-19-coronavirus/ for updates.
It has been a very difficult 15 months and being isolated from friends and family has been upsetting for us all. While the outlook is currently hopeful, we must keep our guard up and remember that the virus is still very much around us. So keep up the good work fighting the virus and keep our communities safe!