Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he's confident that that the country WILL be able to move into the second phase of easing Covid-19 restrictions next week.

At a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting yesterday evening, Mr Varadkar said a final decision on moving into phase two of the roadmap for reopening the country will be made by Cabinet on Friday.

In a statement after the meeting, Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Martin Heydon said the Taoiseach was "confident the country would be able to move into Phase Two of the roadmap to ease restrictions in the Covid-19 battle next Monday."

The second phase will see the ban on non-essential journeys eased to allow people travel up to 20km from their homes. People, including those cocooning, will be allowed invite small groups of people into their homes.

Over 70s will also be able to visit supermarkets at set times during the day.

More people will be allowed attend funerals and small retail outlets that can adhere to social distancing guidelines will be permitted to reopen.

Sports clubs, including GAA and football teams, will be able to hold training sessions – but will still be banned from playing matches. Libraries are also scheduled to reopen.

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