The Irish government has announced changes to its nationwide coronavirus restrictions that come into effect at midnight tomorrow October 15 and will remain in effect until November 10.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced in a press briefing on Wednesday night that Counties Donegal, Monaghan, and Cavan will be elevated to Level 4 on the Irish government’s Framework for Restrictive Measures effective midnight tomorrow night (October 15).

The Taoiseach additionally announced that the rest of the country, while remaining on Level 3, will come under additional restrictions.

"The truth is, there are concerns regarding the full implementation of Level 3," the Taoiseach said in the press briefing on Wednesday night.

"The government have decided that we must introduce additional restrictions within Level 3 on a national basis. These include but are not limited to:

  • No visitors will be allowed to homes or gardens, although exemptions like providing care will be allowed, and this will be made clear
  • In outdoor settings away from home and garden, up to six people from no more than two households can meet outdoors while maintaining social distancing
  • The exemption for club championships will be removed and sporting bodies will be told that if they cannot maintain protective measures and outdoor training, such training should cease
  • We will be re-emphasizing the message to businesses that people should not travel to their workplace unless they absolutely have to.

The changes come into effect tomorrow at midnight and will remain in place until November 10.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin says the Government has decided to introduce additional restrictions to the rest of the country within Level 3, from tomorrow night until 10 November. These include no household visits except for essential reasons. | Live updates: https://t.co/UhLze9SGVL pic.twitter.com/zvnVEbxnd5

— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 14, 2020

The news comes the same day that the Northern Ireland Executive announced that a new round of restrictions was to be introduced across the region beginning Friday, October 16.

There are five Levels in the Irish government's Framework for Restrictive Measures, which was announced on September 15. The Framework is part of the government's Resilience & Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19.

When the Framework was first introduced, the entire country was placed on Level 2, except for Dublin, which was on Level 3. County Donegal was soon thereafter elevated to Level 3 as well. 

The whole Republic of Ireland was placed on Level 3 restrictions on October 6.

Here are the Level 4 restrictions that will come into effect in Counties Donegal, Monaghan, and Cavan from October 15:

The Irish government says that the priority at Level 4 is to keep schools and childcare services open, while keeping people safe.

Only businesses and services which are essential will be open. You can see the full list of essential services here, and you can see the full list of essential retailers here.

No visitors to private homes or social gatherings will be allowed.

All businesses and services will be closed, other than those deemed to be essential.

Social and family gatherings

In your home or garden:

  • You can mix with your own household only. - no visitors.

Other settings outside your home or garden:

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

Weddings

  • Up to 6 guests can attend a wedding ceremony and reception.

Organised indoor gatherings

  • No organised indoor gatherings should take place. For example: business, training events, conferences, events in theatres and cinemas, or other arts events (excluding sport).

Organised outdoor gatherings

  • Gatherings of up to 15 people can take place outdoors. For example outdoor arts events or training events.

Exercise and sporting events

Training:

  • Outdoors: Non-contact training can take place but only in pods of up to 15.
  • Indoors: Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes can take place.

Matches and events:

  • No matches or events to take place.
  • Exemption: Professional and elite sport/inter-county/horse-racing can take place behind closed doors.

Gyms, leisure centres, and swimming pools are closed.

Religious services

  • Services will be held online.
  • Places of worship remain open for private prayer.

Funerals

  • Up to 25 mourners can attend.

Museums, galleries, and other cultural attractions

  • All venues closed.
  • Online services available.

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

  • Take away food or delivery. No indoor dining.
  • Outdoor dining limited to a maximum of 15 patrons.

Wet pubs

  • Outdoor seating only, limited to a maximum of 15 patrons.

Nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.

Hotels and accommodation

  • Open but only for existing guests, and those with essential non-social and non-tourist purposes.

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

  • Face coverings must be worn.
  • Essential retail and businesses that are primarily outdoors only can remain open. All other retail and personal services closed.

Work

  • Only essential or other designated workers should go to work.

Domestic travel restrictions

  • Stay in your county (or other defined geographical area) apart from essential work, education, and other essential purposes.

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

  • Schools and creches will remain open with protective measures.
  • Further, higher and adult education moves primarily online with appropriate protective measures in place for essential attendance on site.

Outdoor playgrounds, play areas, and parks

  • All remain open with protective measures in place.

Transport

  • Face coverings must be worn.
  • Walk or cycle where possible.
  • Public transport capacity will be restricted to 25%.
  • Avoid public transport - essential workers and essential purposes only.

Over 70 and medically vulnerable individuals

  • Those aged over 70 years and over and the medically vulnerable should exercise judgement regarding the extent to which they engage with others and in activities outside home. Specific guidance will be issued.

Visiting long-term residential care facilities (nursing and care homes)

  • Suspended, aside from critical and compassionate circumstances.

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