An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said today that the government is considering easing restrictions and allowing hairdressers to open early.
Speaking on 2FM this morning, Varadkar said:
"We always said that if they went in the right direction, if cases kept falling and the number of people in hospital with COVID kept falling, we would speed up the plan.
"Working with Tony Holohan and his colleagues at NPHET, we agreed that five phases ending in the middle of August was too slow.
"We brought things into the phases starting this week, including opening more shops, than we had originally planned.
"We’re now working on revising Phases 4 and 5 so that we can have the country almost fully opened by the middle of July. The kind of thing we’re looking at, for example, is bringing forward the hairdressers and the salons and a couple of things like that."
The Taoiseach added: "There is always the risk that it might make a comeback but the last couple of days have been quite encouraging."
Yesterday, Minister Simon Harris spoke to Bryan Dobson on Morning Ireland and said that the government planned on engaging with industry representatives to explore the idea of reopening salons and hairdressers sooner than originally planned. He said:
"As the Taoiseach has indicated on Friday, at the moment, they're in phase four, which is opening in July.
"I do know, and I want to acknowledge, they're coming forward as an industry with really good, sensible suggestions as to how they want to reopen in a safe manner and what government is now going to do over the next couple of days and weeks is engage with industry and we're going to sequence what phase three and phase four looks like. So, it's an open question."