There are many unknowns.
As the nation prepares to take the first tentative steps into Phase One of the Government’s plan to restart the economy, Cork City Council has revealed a number of small interventions that are being put in place to facilitate the reopening of the city in the midst of a global pandemic.
In order to ensure city shoppers and visitors can adhere to social distancing rules, everything from pedestrian crossings to street furniture is currently being carefully considered. If town has been outside your 2km travel limit up to now, a stroll through the city will be a decidedly different experience than it was in March.
With months of trial and error ahead for Cork’s cafés, restaurants and shops (and no exact science to inform reopening efforts), further updates are likely to be added during the summer as the five-phase reopening continues until August 10th.
Here are five changes you’ll see if you visit the city next week:
Car-free streets: The pedestrianisation of Oliver Plunkett Street will be permanently reinstated this Monday. It is also planned that Paul Street, Tuckey Street and Pembroke Street will be temporarily closed to traffic to help ensure physical distancing and to support the increased use of street furniture by local businesses.
New signage: Signage reminding people to observe social distancing will be installed on the city streets and pedestrian crossings will be adjusted to support increased walking.
Bike stands: Additional bike stands will be installed across the city centre and any damaged bike stands will be repaired in the near future.
Deep cleaning: A deep clean of the city centre has been underway for a number of weeks. Power washing of streets has also commenced in Douglas, Glanmire, Blarney and Ballincollig.
Free parking: Free on-street parking and free parking at the City Council’s two multi-storey car parks will continue in the short term to support essential workers. According to Cork City Council, this is a “temporary measure that is subject to constant review.”