The Government is set to announce further Covid-19 restrictions for the whole country after a Cabinet meeting today.
At present, counties Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan are at Level 4 with the rest of the country at Level 3.
The opposition has called for additional supports for those affected by any further public health measures.
It is expected the new measures will contain elements of both Level 4 and Level 5 restrictions from the Government’s ‘Living With Covid-19’ plan.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath has said that the Government accepts the need to provide certainty, and will do just that.
Yesterday, the Department of Health was notified of three further deaths and 1,283 additional cases of Covid-19.
It brings to 1,852 the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland, with a total of 49,962 confirmed cases.
The Cabinet sub-committee, involving the three coalition party leaders, plus senior ministers, will gather at Government Buildings this morning.
Their aim will be to narrow differences on the new Covid-19 plan, ahead of a crucial Cabinet meeting this afternoon, which will take profound decisions for the country.
Under the new measures proposed most shops are expected to close will close, along with amenities such as gyms, and there could be additional travel restrictions.
A third of the newest confirmed Covid-19 cases – 408 – were reported in Dublin. The 14-day incidence rate of the virus is now 251 for the entire country.
Cavan continues to have the highest rate of the virus, followed by Meath, Monaghan, Donegal and Clare.
Of the new cases reported yesterday, nearly 70% were in people aged under 45.
Level 4 at a Glance
- No visitors. People are urged to only have members of their own household in their home and garden.
- No other social or family gatherings should take place in settings outside of their home or garden.
- Weddings can proceed with only up to six guests at the ceremony and reception.
- Up to 25 mourners can attend a funeral.
- As with Level 3, organised indoor gatherings such as conferences, arts events, and cinema screenings should not take place under Level 4.
- All museums, galleries and other cultural attractions should also continue to be closed.
- Gatherings of up to 15 people can take place outdoors if they are in controlled environments with a named event organiser, owner or manager.
- As with Level 3, religious services will be held online, but places of worship will remain open for private prayer.
Sport and exercise
- Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are closed.
- Training in an indoor setting can only take place on an individual basis and no exercise or dance classes can take place.
- Non-contact sport training can take place outdoors, but only in pods of up to 15.
- No matches or sporting events are to take place, with exceptions for professional and elite sport, inter-county matches and horse racing events that are taking place behind closed doors.
- Outdoor play areas for children will remain open with protective measures in place.
Retail and service
- Restaurants, bars and cafes can only open for takeaway and delivery. They may not provide indoor dining service. Outdoor seating may be provided for a maximum of 15 people.
- Wet pubs may only offer outdoor seating for a maximum of 15 patrons.
- Hotels may only open for existing guests and those with essential non-social and non-tourism purposes.
- Only essential retail and businesses can remain open under Level 4.
- Essential services that can remain open include farming, veterinary, manufacturing, supply and repair of machines, construction, transport and media operations.
Travel, work and education
- Everyone is advised to stay in their county (or other designated geographic area), except for essential purposes, such as work and education.
- Only essential or other designated workers should go to work.
- Schools and creches will remain open with protective measures.
- Further, higher and adult education is to move to primarily offer service only with protective measures in place for essential attendance.
- People should walk or cycle where possible.
- Only essential workers and people with essential purposes should use public transport, and capacity will be reduced from 50% under Level 3 to 25%.
- People are advised that face coverings must continue to be worn.
Older people and the medically vulnerable
- The medically vulnerable and those aged over 70 should “exercise judgement regarding the extent to which they engage with others and in activities outside home”.
- Separately, visits to long-term residential care facilities such as nursing and care homes are suspended except for critical and compassionate circumstances.
Level 5 at a Glance