Republic of Ireland news

Level three: What it means for the Republic of Ireland

 The changing face of the high street. A man sits outside an empty pub in Dublin's city centre, where many shops and businesses are closed.

The Republic of Ireland will face tighter restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The country will move to level three of the Government’s plan to live with Covid-19. The switch will last for three weeks.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said there will also be measures to increase compliance on the new restrictions which come into effect at midnight on Tuesday.

The decision comes after the Irish government rejected advice from public health officials to introduce the highest level of measure, Level five.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar criticised Nphet’s recommendation, saying it “came out of the blue”.

He told RTE’s Claire Byrne Live that the level five recommendation had “not been thought through”.

On Monday an additional 518 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed by the Republic's Department of Health. There were no further deaths. 

There are 150 people in the Republic's hospitals with coronavirus, with 21 confirmed cases in intensive care units.

Read More: 1,000 new Covid-19 cases in last 24 hours across Ireland

All counties will be at level three for three weeks until midnight on October 27, at which point the situation will be reviewed by the Government, based on the status of the virus and public health advice.

Level 3 restrictions include:

– Visitors to private homes and gardens should be limited to a maximum of six from one other household.

– No social/family gatherings, with exemptions for weddings and funerals.

– No organised indoor gatherings. Organised outdoor gatherings are permitted up to a maximum of 15 people.

– People should remain in their county and not leave to travel domestically or internationally, except those who must travel for work, education and other essential purposes.

– People are asked to work from home unless absolutely necessary.

– Schools, early learning and childcare services should remain open.

– Adult and higher education institutions should remain open, but are asked to review protective measures and limit congregation as much as possible.

Sports:

– No matches or other sporting events, except for professional, elite, inter county and senior club championship – all to take place behind closed doors.

– Horse racing may continue behind closed doors.

– Non-contact training activities can continue outdoors and in pods of up to 15, with certain exemptions.

– Indoor training should be confined to individuals only and no classes are to take place.

Business and services:

– All retail shops and shopping centres may remain open.

– All services such as hairdressers, beauticians, barbers, opticians may remain open with strict adherence to sectoral guidance on protective measures.

– All outdoor playgrounds, play areas, parks remain open.

– Gyms/leisure centres, swimming pools may remain open for individual use only and with protective measures.

– Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs may remain open, but with services limited to residents.

– Restaurants and cafes (including bars/pubs serving food/wet pubs) may remain open for takeaway and delivery and outdoor dining/service to a maximum of 15 people. Wet pubs in Dublin remain closed.

– Libraries will be available for e-services and call and collect.

– All indoor museums, galleries, cinemas and other cultural attractions should close.

– Religious services will move online, though places of worship may remain open for private prayer.

Over 70s and medically vulnerable:

– Those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable are advised to continue to exercise personal judgment.

– It is recommended that they stay at home as much as possible, limit engagement to a very small network for short periods of time, while remaining physically distanced.

– When taking exercise outdoors, maintain two metres from others and wash hands on returning home.

– It is recommended to shop during designated hours only, while wearing a face covering, and to avoid public transport.

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