The Taoiseach has said the Government may modify the advice on two-metre social distancing.

Speaking during an interview with Pat Kenny on Virgin Media One, Leo Varadkar said while two metres is better than one, it may not be always practical in every scenario.

He said the Government may have to modify the rule if it stopped things like the return to school or 80,000 people in the tourism industry getting their jobs back. 

Asked why schools are not returning under the accelerated roadmap, Mr Varadkar said secondary schools would already be finished for the year and for primary school it "doesn't make much sense to bring them back for two weeks".

The Taoiseach did not rule out making in mandatory for face masks to be worn in some public places but said the use of face covering was not a "magic shield".

Mr Varadkar said in the initial phase of the outbreak the Government followed public health advice but as things have gone on they have "given more weight to wider considerations".

Meanwhile, from Monday, people will be able to travel anywhere inside their own county, or up to 20km from their home, as the Government announces a broader than expected easing of measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

It had been expected that changes to the travel restrictions would be more gradual, and that Monday would see the distance people are allowed travel from their homes increase from 5km to 20km.

However, Mr Varadkar this afternoon said it is safe to increase this further, with travel anywhere within your county to be allowed.

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Mr Varadkar tonight said that he hoped that by later in the summer Irish people would be able to travel "point to point" to countries such as Portugal and Greece and said that plan was now being co-ordinated at a European level. 

This morning, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that the Government plans to reintroduce air travel through "airbridges", which will allow travel to countries where the curve has been "flattened" to the same degree as it has here.

She said she would not encourage people to book holidays yet, but she said plans are in place and will be activated as soon as it is safe to do so.

She said it is a challenging time for everyone and the "virus has no mercy" but Ireland is behind other countries and this is why we are slower to ease restrictions.