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Revised version of “Living with COVID-19” plan will be released on 22 February

DUBLIN: The government is preparing a new plan to ease the COVID restrictions. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that the government is aiming for an updated version of the “Living with COVID-19” plan, which will ease restrictions, albeit slightly. Mr. Varadkar also hinted that the revised plan would be announced on February 22. However, he added that no decision has yet been made on what parts of the economy would reopen.

The Tánaiste said the re-opening of professional services such as hairdressing is not guaranteed and made it clear that schools are the government’s first priority. The government plans to reopen schools from March. Although the date has not been officially announced, there will be classes for at least three weeks before schools close for the Easter holidays in March.

He said the retail sector would resume in April, May and June.

Meanwhile, Mr. Varadkar said government legislation on compulsory hotel quarantine would be in place soon.  But he could not give a date for when the hotels would open.

Mr. Varadkar also announced new business support for companies that have not yet received government funding. The Tánaiste also shared the hope that this time we will get a good summer and domestic tourism again. But he added that COVID-19 is unpredictable and therefore reopening is possible only with extreme caution.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the restrictions will be eased and a clear picture will be available by the middle of this month.

At the same time, Justice Helen McEntee indicated that the final decision on this year’s leaving certificate will be made next week.

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