Leo Varadkar calls today "a day of freedom" as Ireland's reopening continues
"Thank you to the Irish people for getting us this far."
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that today is "a day of freedom" and praised the efforts of the Irish people, the HSE and businesses to get the country to this point.
From Monday, 10 May, people are free to travel anywhere on the island of Ireland and to meet with friends outdoors, or indoors if vaccinated.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland on Monday, Varadkar said he expected around 100,000 people to return to work as the next phase of Ireland's reopening commences.
"I think today is also a day of freedom,” he said.
"People can travel freely anywhere on the island, we can meet our family and friends outdoors, indoors for vaccinated.
"Religious services are back, which is very important for people of faith, and from my point of view as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, we expect to see - across the course of the week - about 12,000 businesses reopen for the first time this year."
He added that existing financial support for businesses will remain in place until the end of June and said further clarity will be given on the future of these supports later this month.
“What I can say really is thank you to the Irish people for getting us this far, thank you to the HSE for running such a good vaccination programme, and also thank you to Irish business because they have had to make enormous sacrifices over the past few months," Varadkar said.