Updated / Saturday, 17 Apr 2021 12:54
There is increasing confidence in Government that restrictions on inter-county travel could be lifted at some point in June.
The Government is expected to set out a plan in just over a week for the further re-opening of society and the economy throughout May, June and July.
The Taoiseach has already signalled that hotels and guesthouses are on course to re-open in June if there is continued progress in reducing Covid-19 cases.
Ministers now believe this could also allow people to travel outside their counties in June.
Several Cabinet figures think it is likely to happen possibly from the middle of that month, if the progress in reducing the virus is maintained.
What happens in Northern Ireland is expected to be a factor in the final decision around any lifting of county travel restrictions.
24 May has been set as the indicative date for all tourist accommodation to open in the North.
Senior Government figures believe that if this target date is met it would become increasingly difficult to keep hospitality shut and retain travel restrictions here during June.
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On the last week in April the Government is expected to sign off on plans to begin the staggered re-opening of non-essential retail stores in May, beginning with click and collect services.
Hairdressers and barbers are also on course to re-open in May.
There is consideration being given to possibly allowing more than two households meet up outdoors next month.
From Monday 26 April outdoor sports training and dance classes for children can resume along with golf and tennis for all ages.
The number of people permitted to attend a funeral ceremony will increase from 10 to 25 on that date also.