aoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that Phase 2 of the lifting of restrictions will go ahead on Monday.
He said we have suffered as a country, we have lost loved ones and changed the way we live our lives, but we are making progress.
"Today I can confirm that it is safe to move to Phase 2 of the plan to reopen our country starting on Monday," Mr Varadkar said.
"I'm also announcing an acceleration of the roadmap," and will now be four phases to reopening the country instead of five. Phase 3 will start on 29 June and Phase 4 on 20 July.
The Taoiseach said some measures on mass gatherings may need to remain in place until August.
He said we all need to stick to what we have been doing right – social distancing, washing our hands, wearing face coverings on public transport and self-isolating if we feel unwell.
He said we must continue to avoid unnecessary travel – and the message now is to "stay local" - people can travel anywhere in their own counties and it is planned to remove domestic travel restrictions in Phase 3 on 29 June.
From Monday, groups of up to six people can meet in other households as long as social distancing is maintained.
Mr Varadkar also said that up to 25 people will be able to attend funerals from Monday.
He said that the tourism and hospitality sectors will return on 29 June and bars can reopen if they serve food and provide a table service.
He said he would also like to see places of worship resume services in Phase 3 if possible.
Government Announcement on lifting of restrictions from June 8th:
These measures come into place on Monday the 8th of June. We are still in Phase 1 until then. COVID-19 is still having a major impact on our country. By working together we have made progress – but the virus is still in Ireland.
As we reopen our country, it is vital that we all continue to observe the public health guidance. To stay safe, you need to limit where you go and limit the number of people you meet. Here are five things you should know for Phase 2:
Economic activity and work
Retail, services and commercial activity
Cultural, sporting and social
Transport and travel
Advice for those over 70 or the medically vulnerable
If you are over 70 or medically vulnerable, please use your judgement to decide how best to apply the following health guidance: