It’s beginning to look like a summer of freedom after four long months of lockdown. As the Government signed off on a major easing of Covid restrictions last night, we lay out the key opening dates.

Everything you need to know about lockdown exit

After months of strict restrictions and closed shops, finally the country can look forward to a summer on the road out of lockdown. While the easing of restrictions will be “phased and cautious”, with a close eye being kept on cases, hospitalisations, ICU numbers and the vaccine rollout, the country is finally properly reopening. So what is opening this summer, and when?

Don’t rip off Irish holidaymakers, hotels boss warns rivals

The boss of the country’s biggest hotel chain has warned his own industry against price gouging over the summer. Dalata chief Pat McCann, whose brands include the Maldron and Clayton hotels, also said the Government needed to extend wage supports in the sector beyond June when hotels and guesthouses are expected to reopen for business.

Councils hire staff and add bins for summer after littering of beauty spots

Councils across the country say they’re gearing up to tackle litterbugs, with plans for more bins and additional staff to deal with the issue. However, some councils seem to be taking much more action than others.

Big banks abusing power with plans for payments app, competitors say

Attempts by the main banks to set up an instant payments system are being met with high-level opposition. Questions have been asked about whether the proposed payments system is anti-competitive and whether allowing it will discourage new entrants to this market.

Leo Varadkar says schools must include LGBTI+ relationships in sex education

All publicly funded schools should adhere to Government policy by including LGBTI+ relationships in all sex education programmes, the Tánaiste has said. Leo Varadkar said the Government is very explicit on the issue and has included it in its Programme for Government.

Donald Trump rushes to Rudy Giuliani’s defence as federal agents turn up the heat

Former US President Donald Trump yesterday criticised the federal investigation into Rudy Giuliani as US agents searched his former personal lawyer’s Manhattan apartment and office.

Data on virus gave Holohan confidence for surprising reopening

There was no sense of a grand reopening of the country when the Cabinet met on Tuesday. Taoiseach Micheál Martin indicated the plan for easing of restrictions would be as he had flagged over the ­previous weeks. However, chief medical officer Tony Holohan looked at the data on the virus and decided that, while cases are spiking, most of the other metrics used to measure transmission are going in the right direction.

Colm Keys: ‘Unfinished business has left house of cards for GAA’

Blending the outstanding 2020 underage competitions with the county finals left over from last year and mixing them in with the scheduled 2021 competitions has all the complications and treachery of building a house of cards in the coming weeks, writes Colm Keys.

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