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Large shops in Carlow and Kilkenny expected to open from Monday but need to have a ground level open entrance

This will exclude stores in shopping centres

Large retail shops are expected to be allowed to open from Monday as the government signs off on entering phase two of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

This will exclude stores in shopping centres and they will need to have a ground level open entrance.

People will be allowed to travel up to 20 kilometres from their homes from Monday, and some playgrounds are likely to reopen.

Health Minister Simon Harris says he hopes measures can continue to be lifted if the virus is kept under control:

“I think we have to be some what careful, I think what we are likely to see is consideration of going to phase two as was envisaged, and then potentially a small number of additional measures that should be considered in relation to children and older people”.

“I should say this though, moving from one phase to the next to the next is not guaranteed, it very much depends on the behaviour of this virus, if the behaviour of this virus, the trajectory of this virus changes, our plan changes as well”.

Meanwhile companies reopening on Monday who fail to adhere strictly to the national return to work safely protocol could face closure.

The Irish Congress of Trade unions says we can’t cut corners and compromise on workplace safety.

ICTU general secretary Patricia King says that under the workplace representative infrastructure, the rep is entitled to inform the health and safety authority of any breaches.