KT

No mention of restaurants and pubs in new measures

It is hoped that Kerry people will be able to travel to beaches and other recreational facilities within the county from April 12

SIX new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Kerry today with 14 deaths and 368 additional infections confirmed nationwide.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre said 12 of the deaths occurred this month, one in February and one in January.

The median age of those who died was 83 and the age range was between 68 and 97 years.

The number of fatalities since the outset of the pandemic has now reached 4,681 with 235,444 known cases confirmed.

Of the cases notified today, 182 are female, 181 are male and 67 per cent are under 45 years of age. The median age of those affected is 34.

127 of the newly diagnosed cases are in Dublin, 34 in Kildare, 26 in Meath, 21 in Limerick and 19 in Offaly with the remaining 141 cases spread across 18 other counties.

Early this morning, 310 patients with coronavirus were in hospital with 67 in intensive care. There have been 29 additional hospital admissions due to the virus in the past 24 hours.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressed the nation this evening

Taoiseach Micheál Martin this evening announced the planned easing of certain lockdowns from April 12 as the vaccines continue to be rolled out.

The 5km travel limit will end and people will be permitted to travel within their own counties from that date and all schools will fully reopen.

Also from April 12, there will be a partial resumption of construction with builders involved in social houses or childcare facilities allowed to return to work with the sector fully reopening in May.

Two separate households will be allowed to meet outdoors – although not in private gardens – and two fully vaccinated people, who have received both doses, can meet indoors for social purposes.

The return of elite athlete training and GAA inter-county training will recommence on April 19 with a view to holding the National Leagues in football and hurling in May.

David Cliffordand his team-mates will be able to resume inter-county training from April 19

Golf, tennis and sports training for under 18s will be allowed from April 26 and outdoor visitor attractions, including zoos and heritage sites, will also be allowed to reopen on that date.

Attendances at funerals will also be increased from 10 to 25 in late April.

Museums and galleries will be given the green light to open their doors on May 4 and it is also hoped to allow a phased return of personal services such as hairdressers, barbers, some retail outlets and click and collect services but no definite decision will be made on that until May.

Mr Martin indicated that it is hoped hotels and guesthouses could reopen later in the summer – subject to Covid-19 data at that time and the progression of the vaccination programme – but he made no specific mentions of restaurants and pubs in today’s address to the nation.

It is thought the earliest reopening date for the accommodation section is likely to be in July when it is hoped inter-county travel can resume – subject to virus numbers.