What it’s like in Ireland today as the country reopened pubs and hairdressers

Ireland entered the next phase in easing their coronavirus lockdown on Monday – ahead of England and the rest of the UK.

Pints were pulled in pubs once again across the country, but only in establishments where they can serve food to customers.

Hairdressers also reopened, which saw queues form outside several salons and barbers first thing as people finally got the chance to get their lockdown locks cut. 

Unlike England which will follow suit with pubs, bars, and hairdressers reopening this Saturday, gyms and pools were also allowed to open up today in Ireland, while small congregations can attend church services again.

Parishioners attended morning mass on both sides of the border, as similar relaxations related to places of worship came into effect in Northern Ireland.

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The changes have come into effect after premises were forced to close three-and-a-half months ago due to the spread of coronavirus.

But there are some restrictions as pubs selling alcohol are allowed to do so, so long as a meal worth nine euro is also served.

At Mary Mac’s in south Dublin, regular Angus Fleming said it was good to be back in the pub with familiar faces.

Angus Fleming has a pint of Guinness in Mary Mac’s pub, Dublin as Ireland further eases restrictions

“It makes life a little bit more real,” he told the Press Association.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) said that pubs reopening marked a “milestone moment in the recovery of the country”.

The LVA urged publicans to ensure they take responsibility and make sure social distancing guidelines are being met.

“With the public health situation improving, the reopening of pubs will be an indicator of Ireland’s emergence from the lockdown,” said chief executive of the LVA, Donall O’Keeffe.

“It will signal to the outside world that our country is beginning the journey back to normality and our economy is once again open for business.”

Pubs that do not serve food will be allowed to reopen on July 20.

There were queues outside salons
(Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Monday also saw people flock to hairdressers to get much-needed tidy-ups.

Among them was deputy premier Leo Varadkar, who got his hair cut ahead of the first meeting of the Ireland’s newly formed cabinet.

“Lunchtime hair trimming, finally,” he tweeted in Irish.

People queuing outside a barber’s in Athy, Co Kildare
(Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Sporting activities, including close contact sports and team leagues for adults and children, were also allowed to resume, but spectator limits remain.

Mass gatherings, including weddings, of 50 people indoors and 200 people outdoors are now also allowed.

Alongside the new openings, face coverings have become compulsory on public transport as capacity on buses, trains and trams increased from 20 percent to about 50 percent.

Bishop-elect Martin Hayes addressing parishioners on his appointment as Bishop of Kilmore at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick and Saint Felim, Cavan, Ireland during the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, as lockdown eases allowing places of worshipper to reopen
(Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Anne Graham, chief executive of the National Transport Authority, said people are being asked to do the right thing and exercise their personal responsibility.

She said: “This is an important part of efforts to build confidence in public transport as more people return to work over the coming weeks and months.

“At this stage, our focus and that of the operators is on education, awareness and giving our customers every encouragement to wear a face covering.”

One more Covid-19 death was confirmed in Ireland on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 1,735.

A further three cases of coronavirus were confirmed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 25,439.

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