The Republic of Ireland will be elevated to Level 3 of the Irish government’s Framework for Restrictive Measures effective tomorrow night at midnight, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said in a brief address on Monday evening.
The decision to elevate the country to Level 3 contradicts the official advice provided by Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team, which sought to elevate the entire country to Level 5, the most severe restrictions.
Counties Dublin and Donegal are already on Level 3.
Speaking on Monday evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “The government has been informed by NPHET that recent trends in most parts of the country are a major concern. If we do not alter these trends, there will be a serious impact. There is no doubt whatsoever about this.
“So we must respond, and the challenge is to be as effective and as proportionate as possible.”
He continued: “As of tomorrow, 12 midnight, all parts of the country will move to Level 3 of the government’s Framework for Restrictive Measures for a period of three weeks.
“The second part of the response is to step up measures to increase compliance with guidelines.”
He added: “In the coming days, we will be increasing the levels of public guidance on compliance, and we’ll work more closely with sectors and stakeholders to ensure that measures are fully implemented so that we get maximum impact.
“I understand how frustrated people are, and how the yearning for normality grows stronger all the time. However, COVID-19 is still deadly, and we cannot ignore the threat it still poses.
“Up to 2,400 people have already lost their lives on this island. We cannot and should not forget this. It has challenged us to our very core, but we have shown that we can be resilient.”
You can watch Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s address here:
Level 3 of the Irish government’s Framework for Restrictive Measures
The Irish government says: "The priority is to keep schools and early learning and childcare services open and minimise disruption in the work force. This means that a number of services will be moved online and some businesses will be closed (for example: museums and other indoor cultural venues). Additional restrictions will apply to restaurants and pubs.
"In order to keep people safe, you will be asked to reduce the number of people you meet to a minimum and stay in your own region."
Social and family gatherings
In your home or garden:
- Depending on the prevailing public health advice for the county or other defined geographical area:
- Visitors from 1 other household to a maximum of 6 people only OR your own household only.
For information on Dublin click here.
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 information on Donegal, click here.
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 and swimming pools:
- Gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools open with protective measures, for individual training only.
- Services move online. Places of worship remain open for private prayer.
- Up to 25 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)
- Additional restrictions for indoor dining.
- For information on Donegal, click here.
- For information on Dublin, click here.
- Remain open with additional restrictions.
- For information on Donegal, click here.
Nightclubs, discos and casinos
- Nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.
Hotels and accommodation
- Open but services limited to residents.
Retail and services (for example: hairdressers, beauticians, barbers)
There is specific guidance available for:
- Work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person.
- Stay in your county (or other defined geographical area) apart from work, education and other essential purposes, if appropriate.
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 judgement regarding the extent to which they engage with others and in activities outside home.
- Specific guidance will be provided.
Long-term residential care facilities (nursing and care homes)
- Visits suspended, aside from critical and compassionate circumstances.