The Republic of Ireland has moved into Full Level 5 restrictions just over a week after it re-entered a modified version of Level 5.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressed the nation in a televised address on Wednesday, December 30, and announced that the Republic of Ireland "must return to full scale, Level 5 restrictions for a period of at least one month."
Earlier, on December 22, the Taoiseach had announced that from December 24, the country would be moving into Level 5 restrictions but with some modifications that were set to be in place until at least January 12.
Speaking on December 30, Martin, who noted that the reproduction number in the country is currently estimated at between 1.6 and 1.8, said: "On Christmas Eve, we received the news we had feared – confirmation that the new strain is indeed in our country.
"While international research into this new variant is ongoing, it is already very clear that we are dealing with a strain of the disease that spreads much, much more quickly.
"Indeed, it is spreading at a rate that has surpassed the most pessimistic models available to us.
"With the disease spreading much faster, the threat of our health system being overwhelmed and the risk of increased sickness and death among our vulnerable and older populations is obvious.
"And it has become urgent."
You can watch the Taoiseach's entire address from December 30 here:
Here are the Full Level 5 restrictions that are now in effect in the Republic of Ireland:
In a statement on December 30, the Irish government said: "At Level 5, the public health risk means that you will be asked to stay at home, except for travel for work, education or other essential purposes, or to take exercise within 5km of home. There will be no gatherings other than small numbers at funerals and weddings."
Social and family gatherings
- In your home or garden: No visitors are permitted in private homes or gardens except for essential family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, or as part of a support bubble.
- Other settings outside your home or garden: No social or family gatherings should take place in other settings.
- Up to and including 2 January, a maximum of 25 guests can attend a wedding ceremony and reception, whether indoors or outdoors.
- From 3 January, up to 6 guests are permitted.
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.
- No organised outdoor gatherings should take place.
Exercise and sporting events
- People may meet with people from one other household in outdoor settings when taking exercise.
- No indoor or outdoor exercise group activities, including those involving children, should take place.
- Outdoor golf and tennis are not permitted.
- Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes. No indoor or outdoor gatherings involving “individual training” except for professional and elite sports.
Matches and events
- Professional, elite sports, horse racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events only are permitted to continue behind closed doors.
- No other matches or events are to take place.
Gyms, leisure centres, and swimming pools must close from close of business on 31 December.
- Services will be held online.
- Places of worship remain open for private prayer.
- Up to 10 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 and delivery only.
Nightclubs, discos, casinos
- Nightclubs, discos, and casinos will remain closed.
Hotels and accommodation
- Open only for essential non-social and non-tourist purposes.
- Anyone staying in a hotel on 30 December can complete their stay.
Retail and services (for example: hairdressers, beauticians, barbers)
- Face coverings must be worn.
- All retail, other than essential retail, must close from close of business on 31 December.
- All non-essential services remain closed.
- Work from home unless essential for work, which is an essential health, social care or other essential service and cannot be done from home.
Domestic travel restrictions
- People will be required to stay at home except for travel for work, education or other essential purposes, and will be permitted to take exercise within 5 km of home.
- People away from their place of residence on 31 December are permitted to return to their place of residence.
- You can travel outside 5 kilometres of home for the following reasons:
- travel to and from work, where work involves providing an essential service
- to attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products
- travel to attend disability day services
- travel to attend a court
- for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, and in particular for those who live alone, but excluding social family visits
- for food shopping
- for farming purposes (food production or care of animals)
- to attend a wedding or funeral
- to visit a grave
Schools, creches and higher and adult education
- Early Learning and Childcare Services remain open with protective measures.
- Schools open from 11 January with further review on precise situation in advance of that date.
- Higher, further and adult education should remain primarily online.
Outdoor playgrounds, play areas, and parks
- Open with protective measures in place.
- Face coverings must be worn.
- Walk or cycle where possible.
- Avoid public transport - essential workers and essential purposes only.
- Public transport capacity will be restricted to 25%.
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 provided.
Visiting long-term residential care facilities (nursing and care homes)
- Suspended, aside from critical and compassionate circumstances.