Cabinet to consider if first phase of restrictions can be lifted

Cabinet Ministers are due to consider whether to go ahead with the first phase of easing coronavirus restrictions.

It's expected they will approve the measures on advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team.

From next Monday, May 18th, the first phase of easing Coronavirus restrictions is due to start.

It would mean that some outdoor work can begin again, including construction, and that the likes of DIY and hardware stores can re-open physical stores.

Small outdoor gatherings of up to 4 people not from the same household would also be allowed, as long as everyone maintains social distancing.

Yesterday the National Public Health Emergency Team met to review the plan in the light of the latest medical evidence.

This morning that advice will go before cabinet Ministers, who will have the final say.

It's expected a recommendation will also be given on the wearing of face coverings, with the government likely to say they should be worn in public places, but stopping short of making it mandatory.

Yesterday the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was increasingly confident phase one can begin on Monday, while the Health Minister Simon Harris highlighted positive trends in the number of new cases and admissions to ICU.

A final say on whether the first easing of restrictions can begin is expected this afternoon.