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Children can reunite with grandparents for socially distanced walks from today

By Sarah Finnan

May 18, 2020 at 12:31pm

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Minister for Health Simon Harris has confirmed that grandparents can go for safe, socially distanced walks with their grandchildren from today.

Today marks the first day of phase one in the Government's roadmap for reopening the country which will see a number of restrictions being lifted - including the 2km radius for exercise which has been extended to 5km.

Speaking to Bryan Dobson on Morning Ireland this morning, Minister for Health Simon Harris answered public questions regarding the proposed roadmap. Saying that "every stage of the plans allows for a loosening of restrictions", he encouraged the public to stick with it and see the course.

However, he did reveal that from today, it is safe for grandparents to take socially distanced walks with their grandchildren - provided they live close to their family and are not travelling long distances to do so.

Admitting that questions concerning grandparents seeing their grandchildren get him every time, Harris said that it is one of the clearest indications of the "cruelty of this virus".

"I've got to be honest though, for as long as the virus is here with us we are going to need to continue to make sure we take extra measures to protect older people because we know they are more susceptible to this virus."

Other measures included under phase one include a phased return to work and the use of face coverings when using busy public transport or in enclosed indoor public areas such as retail outlets. Garden centres, farmers markets, hardware stores, opticians and vehicular repair shops have all been allowed to reopen as part of phase one as well.

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READ NEXT: Daniel O’Donnell sings outside community hospital to lift the resident’s spirits

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