What’s in the Government’s medium-term plan for living with Covid?

The Government’s medium-term plan for Living with Covid-19 has been announced.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said protecting public health remains an absolute priority. He said: “Each of us has a personal responsibility to try and limit its spread.”

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told a press briefing: “We were in this together, now we can get through this together.”

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that the new measures will come into effect from midnight. However, the reopening of pubs will not commence until 21 September.

Earlier, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath said the plan would cover the next six to nine months as it is not certain that there will be any progress in a vaccine over that period of time.

“We have to plan on the basis that Covid-19, unfortunately, will be with us certainly through the early and mid-part of 2021 and that poses a challenge for us financially, but more importantly from a health perspective,” he said.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will remain the key body providing public health advice to Government, but a new group chaired by secretary general of Department of the Taoiseach will be set up for “enhanced cooperation” between various departments.

Here are the key points from the new road map:

On the level

The ‘framework for restrictive measures’ consists of five levels.

The lower levels will be activated when there is low incidence of the disease, with isolated outbreaks, low community transmission.

The higher levels will be used to deal with higher incidences of the disease.

Level 1 involves the least amount of restrictions. It does not apply to anywhere at present as the whole country is on Level 2.

Level 1 will allow up to ten visitors from up to three households to your house. Up to 100 people will be able to attend weddings and organised indoor gatherings (eg: business meetings).

Up to 500 people will be able to attend outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000 with a maximum of 200 patrons allowed in most other outdoor venues.

Nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed under Level 1.

Level 2 applies to the country at present (with some exceptions for Dublin).

Visitors from one other household only or up to six visitors from two to three other households are allowed in your home.

All the other provisions for Level 2 are outlined below under various categories (sports, weddings etc).

Level 3 restrictions will limit visitors to your home to one other household only (this has been introduced in Dublin). No social or family gatherings should take place in other settings.

Weddings will be limited to 25 while outdoor gatherings will be capped at 15. Sports training can continue but no matches will be allowed. All museums and galleries will be closed.

Restaurants WILL be able to remain open for indoor dining – with added restrictions.

A Government spokesperson said there was an error in the Level 3 guidelines published earlier that has now been corrected.

It had originally said that restaurants would remain open for takeaway and outdoor dining only.

It now states that “additional restrictions will apply to restaurants and pubs”.

Travel-wise, you will be asked to stay in your county apart from work, education and other essential purposes.

Level 4 – Keeping schools and childcare services open will remain a priority. No visitors will be allowed to your home and weddings will be limited to six people.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will be closed and in-person religious services cancelled. Funerals will have a cap of 25 mourners.

There will be no indoor dining allowed and pubs will only be allowed to serve 15 customers outdoors.

Level 5 will be similar to Level 4, but with domestic travel restrictions in place. People will be advised to stay at home and only exercise within 5km of where they live.

However, schools and creches can remain open with protective measures in place.


Click here to read more https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0915/1165322-living-with-covid-summary/