Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

12.58 29 Apr 2021


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There's some concern in Government this afternoon that the plans for reopening the economy are going too far, too soon.

The Cabinet meets this afternoon to sign off on the plan for a significant reopening of the economy from May.

A number of measures in the reopening plan go further than most ministers expected - including the resumption of inter-county travel from May 10th, and allowing three households to meet up in a garden from that date.

Vaccinated people will be allowed to meet non-vaccinated people indoors.

There are also plans for two non-vaccinated households to be allowed to meet up indoors from June 7th.

Meeting this morning, some officials in the Department of the Taoiseach expressed concerns about how fast the new plan is going.

Sources speaking to Newstalk said they were worried about a repeat of what happened in the run-up to Christmas - and that trying to secure a "meaningful summer" could lead to a similar explosion of new COVID-19 cases.

One senior minister said all the warning signals are still flashing amber.

Earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney insisted the Government has been told the risk from the proposed changes is low to moderate.

All the moves have been signed off on by Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, with the Government accepting his advice almost in its entirety.

Sources said they believe Dr Holohan is staking much of his hopes and confidence on the vaccination programme, which should ramp up significantly again in the coming weeks.

Cabinet ministers meet at 2:30pm to sign off on the plans, ahead of a full announcement from the Taoiseach this evening at 6pm.

Main image: Pictured is the Department of the Taoiseach in Government Buildings on Merrion Street in Dublin. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie

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