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Thousands returned to work after another set of restrictions lifted yesterday; shows continuous progress in reopening society and Irish economy – Taoiseach

DUBLIN: The latest round in the easing of COVID-19 restrictions as part of Ireland’s reopening was yesterday. Pubs, restaurants and cafés were allowed to resume outdoor services after months of waiting. Gyms, swimming pools, and leisure centers were open for the first time this year. Movie theaters also opened their doors yesterday. More such restrictions were lifted yesterday, and more will be lifted in the coming days this month; the complete list can be found here.

As the country reopens for the summer, visitors will flood the streets, and thousands of people will return to work across the country. However, Government and health officials urge people to continue following public health guidelines such as social distance and avoiding crowds.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin described the latest reopening as “very significant” for pubs and restaurants, adding that it shows the continuing progress being made to reopen society and the Irish economy.

Publicans have said it is “great to be back” as outdoor hospitality returns after months. Pub, restaurant, and café owners are also delighted about the comeback of their business.

Michael O’Sullivan, one of the owners of Clancy’s Bar on Cork’s Princes Street, said, “it’s what we do best, hosting and dining and entertaining people, it’s lovely to have them back.” Mr. O’Sullivan said he was happy that his staff members who wanted to return to work were able to do so.

Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys said gardaí will engage with local authorities, businesses and community groups to ensure the hospitality sector operates safely.

“Our pubs, restaurants and cafes are the businesses which have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. The Government will support them in every way we can as they welcome customers back,” she said.

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