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Connacht Tribune

The FULL list: roadmap to Covid-19 re-openings

Enda Cunningham

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar making his address to the nation this evening.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are to be extended until May 18.

However, from next Tuesday, the current 2km travel restriction will be extended to 5km, and people over 70 who are cocooning have been advised they should continue to do so, but can go outside if they avoid contact with other people.

In an address to the nation this evening, Mr Varadkar said that the last few weeks have transformed out lives in so many different ways.

He outlined a roadmap of five stages on how the country will attempt to return to ‘normality’.

The following is the full roadmap to recovery:

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Phase 1, May 18th

From May 18, outdoor workers will be able to return to work. Some retail outlets such as garden centres, hardware shops, farmers markets and repair shops (such as bicycle, motor), electrical, IT and phone sales will reopen. Some sporting activities in small groups will be permitted. Small groups of up to four people (not of the same household) will be permitted to meet outdoors while maintaining social distancing.

Restrictions of ten people at funerals will remain in place.

Outdoor amenities and tourism sites such as beaches, carparks and mountain walks can be reopened. Small outdoor sports amenities can re-open, e.g. pitches, tennis courts, golf courses, where social distancing can be maintained.

Phase 2, June 8th

Restrictions on travel to be extended to 20km from your home. Continue to avoid unnecessary journeys. Designate specific retail hours across all retailers for the over 70s and medically vulnerable, with strict social distancing, gloves and face masks.

Visits to homes of over 70s and medically vulnerable for small number of people, for short period of time, wearing masks etc.

Up to four people may visit another household for a short period of time.

Slightly larger number of people in attendance at funerals, but still restricted to immediate family and close friends.

Permitted phased return of workers who can maintain 2m social distance constantly. Maintain remote working for businesses that can do so.

Small retail outlets with small number of staff can re-open. Marts where social distancing can be maintained will reopen.

Open public libraries with numbers limited and permit people to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities in small group training (but not matches)

Phase 3, June 29th

Opening of crèches, childminders and pre-schools for children of essential workers in phased manner with social distancing and other requirements applying.

Phased approach to visiting at hospitals, healthcare centres/prisons etc.

With a risk-based approach, organisations where employees have low levels of daily interaction and social distancing can be maintained, can open.

Phased opening of non-essential retail, with restrictions on numbers of staff and customers per square metre. This will be limited to retail outlets with street-level entrance and exit, i.e. which are not in shopping centres.

Re-open playgrounds and permit ‘behind closed doors’ sporting activities.

Open cafes, restaurants where they can comply with social distancing.

Phase 4, July 20th

Extend travel restrictions to outside your region. Slightly larger numbers can visit households for a short period of time. Small social gatherings by family and close friends with a maximum number (such as weddings and baptisms).

Small social (non-family) gatherings limited to a maximum number of people for a limited time period.

Opening of crèches, childminders and pre-schools to all other workers on a phased basis (e.g. one day per week) and slowly increasing thereafter.

Organisations where employees cannot remote work to be considered first for return to onsite working. Staggered shifts should be operated.

Commence loosening restrictions on higher risk services involving direct contact, e.g. barbers, hairdressers.

Open museums, galleries, religious places of workshop.

Permit sports team leagues (e.g. soccer and GAA), but only where limitations and placed on number of spectators and social distancing can be maintained.

Open public swimming pools.

Open hotels, hostels, caravan parks for social and tourist activities with limited occupancy increasing over time. Hotel bars remain closed.

Phase 5, August 10th

Commence opening of schools and colleges on a phased basis at the beginning of the 2020/21 academic year.

Return to normal visiting for hospitals, care homes, prisons etc.

Phased return (risk-based) to onsite working. ‘Higher risk’ organisations which by their nature cannot easily maintain social distancing will implement plans for how they can eventually progress towards onsite return for full staff complement.

Opening of enclosed shopping centres where social distancing can be maintained. Further loosening of services such as tattoo and piercing.

Open theatres and cinemas where social distancing can be maintained.

Permit close physical contact sports (rugby, boxing, wrestling); open gyms, exercise studios where regular cleaning can be carried out and social distancing maintained.

Permit sports spectatorship which involve mass gatherings with limits on indoor and outdoor numbers and social distancing.

Roller skating, bowling alley, bingo halls can reopen with limited numbers.

Pubs, bars, nightclubs, casinos where social distancing and strict cleaning can be complied with.

Festivals, events, social and cultural mass gatherings will be permitted where there are limits on numbers and social distancing is maintained.

Resume tourist travel to offshore islands by non-residents.

Connacht Tribune

Galway Real Estate have attractive site for sale on the Aran Islands

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Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

Galway Real Estate have an attractive site/property for sale at Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The site is approximately c.150 square metres. (c.1600 sq. ft.) on c.1 acre with planning permission to convert to a dwelling house and fit a new waste water treatment system. Planning Ref: 17/1284. There are two years  left on planning. The planning is for a proposed 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining/room, laundry/room, bathroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a property ready to go. Offers in excess of €125,000 considered.

Full details from Paddy Flynn 0872557618 or Galway Real Estate on 091565488 or email: info@galwayrealestate.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Aran to welcome Ireland’s largest domestic passenger ferry

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Saoirse na Farraige

The largest domestic passenger ferry in the country is making its journey from the Far East to the Far West – ready to commence service from Galway to the three Aran Islands.

The 40-metre ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ represents a massive investment – and vote of confidence – in island tourism on the part of the owners, Aran Island Ferries.

Commissioned in January 2019, this sixth member of their fleet has a capacity of 400 – and it is expected to arrive in Galway Bay from Hong Kong in October.

The vessel departed Hong Kong last week, embarking on a 2,500 mile journey to Galway Bay – inside the hold of a heavy lift ship called Svenja’”.

Saoirse na Farraige has at least three more stops to make before arriving in Galway Bay at the end of October – and it won’t not enter service until next spring.

Aran Island Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager, Aine McLoughlin, said that they were looking forward to seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands, enjoying the increased capacity, accessibility, and safety features.

“We are really looking forward to officially launching ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ next year and seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands on board our new ferry,” she said.

Saoirse na Farraige will serve all three islands from Rossaveel – with a journey time of 40 minutes to Inis Mór, 50 minutes to Inis Meáin, and 55 minutes to Inis Oírr.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Emergency Department upgrade will happen at UHG – but it’s complicated

Denise McNamara

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The current ED at UHG.

Revamping the emergency department at UHG will involve three separate projects – leading to the hospital’s chief describing the process as ‘very complex’.

City Councillor John Connolly (FF) said the people of Galway were concerned that the new emergency department – like the ring road – would never happen, as it appeared to be so bound up in red tape.

Joe Hoare, assistant national director of estates in HSE West, told the Regional Health Forum West meeting that that outpatients department adjacent to the emergency department was being redeveloped to create more capacity for streaming Covid patients from non-Covid patients for the winter.

The outpatients department would be relocated to the Merlin Park campus. The design for this building would be completed within ten months with construction expected to begin in by last 2021 at the earliest.

An interim emergency department was the next priority so that the current building could be knocked to make way for the new state-of-the-art building, creating a new maternity department and paediatrics unit.

Since the budget for the new children’s hospital had blown out of all proportion, the rules over public projects over €100 million had changed and the Saolta hospital group had to ensure its business case for the massive project was ‘watertight’.

Mr Hoare said all three projects were moving in parallel, including the enabling works for the main build, which would take around 18 months to complete.

He described the project as Saolta’s ‘absolute top priority and was regarded as such by the national HSE organisation.

Head of Saolta, Tony Canavan, said the project was ‘big and very complex’ and required management to remain ‘very focused over a long time’.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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