Co Donegal will remain on Level 3 until at least October 16.

The Irish government has today announced that Co Donegal in the northwest of Ireland will be elevated to Level 3 on Ireland's Framework for Restrictive Measures, effective from midnight tomorrow, Friday, September 25.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn announced the news in a live press briefing on Thursday evening in Dublin.

Martin said during the briefing: "Tonight's decision is based on, frankly, very worrying data provided by NPHET, which I want to share with you.

"Over the last seven days, Donegal's seven-day incidence rate of infection is more than anywhere else in the country.

"Clusters are growing throughout the county, and as one example we established tonight that in one local district area, Stranorlar LEA, we're looking at an infection rate of 336 per 100,000.

"With those sorts of numbers, we clearly have no choice other than to act and to act decisively."

WATCH: Taoiseach Micheál Martin and acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn announce further restrictions to be imposed on Donegal for three weeks from midnight tonight | Read more:

— RTÉ News (@rtenews) September 24, 2020

Co Donegal now joins Co Dublin on Level 3 while the rest of the Republic of Ireland remains on Level 2 of the Framework for Restrictive Measures, which was first rolled out on September 15 as part of the government's Plan for Living with COVID-19.

While wet pubs - pubs that do not serve food - in Dublin will remain closed, wet pubs in Co Donegal can operate under the same restrictions as the county's restaurants and pubs that serve food, Martin said in his address.

Co Donegal will be at Level 3 for a period of three weeks, until Friday, October 16, at which point the situation will be reviewed by the Government, based on the status of the virus and public health advice.

In addition to the elevation to Level 3, the government has also announced a 30% top-up to the Restart Plus grant to help support those affected through the three-week period. This will be available immediately through the normal application process at an estimated additional cost of €2m to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. In addition, applications from Donegal will be prioritised for the wide range of existing loan and voucher schemes available to assist businesses affected by Covid-19 through the July Jobs Stimulus and other Government initiatives.

Here are the measures that are set to come into effect in Co Donegal as part of Level 3:

Social and family gatherings

In your home or garden:

  • You can have a maximum of 6 visitors from 1 other household.

Other settings outside your home or garden

  • No social or family gatherings should take place in other settings.


Up to 25 people can attend a wedding ceremony and reception.

For the weekend of 26/27 September:

  • weddings can proceed as originally planned up to a limit of 50 guests
  • Donegal residents may attend weddings outside of Donegal and those outside of Donegal may travel to weddings in Donegal over this weekend

From Monday 28 September:

  • weddings in Donegal may proceed, but with a limit of 25 guests for ceremony and reception (irrespective of venue)
  • it will not be possible for residents outside of Donegal to attend weddings in Donegal, nor will it be possible for those in Donegal to attend weddings in other areas of the country
  • couples resident in Donegal with existing plans outside the county can travel to get married at another location

Organised indoor gatherings

These are controlled environments with a named event organiser, owner or manager.

For example: business, training events, conferences, events in theatres and cinemas or other arts events (excluding sport).

No organised indoor gatherings should take place.

Organised outdoor gatherings

These are controlled environments with a named event organiser, owner or manager. For example: outdoor arts events, training events.

Gatherings of up to 15 people can take place.



  • Outdoors: Non contact training only in pods of up to 15 (exemption for professional/elite/inter-county sports/senior club championship).
  • Indoors: Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes.

Matches and events:

  • No matches or events to take place.
  • Exemption: professional/elite/inter-county/club championship/horse-racing can take place behind closed doors.

Gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools open with protective measures, for individual training only.

Religious services

Services move online. Places of worship remain open for private prayer.


Up to 25 mourners can attend.

This measure comes into effect on Monday 28 September. Until then, a maximum of 50 mourners can attend.

Museums, galleries, and other cultural attractions

All venues closed.

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

Bars, cafes, and restaurants (including hotel restaurants and bars)

Can remain open for take-away and delivery and outdoor dining/service to a maximum of 15 people.

Wet pubs

Can remain open for take-away and delivery and outdoor dining/service to a maximum of 15 people.

Nightclubs, discos, and casinos will remain closed.

Hotels and accommodation

Open but services limited to residents.

Retail and services (for example: hairdressers, beauticians, barbers)

Face coverings must be worn.

Open with protective measures in place.

There is specific guidance available for:


Work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person.

Domestic travel

People living in Donegal should remain in the county (that is, they must not leave Donegal to travel either domestically or internationally), with the exception of those who must travel for work, education, and other essential purposes.

People living outside of Donegal should not travel to Donegal, with the exception of those who must travel for work, education, and other essential purposes.

Schools, early learning and childcare services, adult and higher education

Schools and creches are open with protective measures.

Further, higher and adult education to escalate all appropriate protective measures and limit congregation as far as possible.

Outdoor playgrounds, play areas, and parks

All remain open with protective measures in place.


Face coverings must be worn.

Walk or cycle where possible.

Public transport capacity will be limited to 50%.

Essential workers and essential purposes only.

Those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable

Those aged 70 years and over and the medically vulnerable should exercise personal judgement.

  • 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, it is important to maintain 2 metres distance 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

Long-term residential care facilities (nursing and care homes)

Visits suspended, aside from critical and compassionate circumstances.