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New restrictions: No visits to households allowed from tomorrow night, except for essential reasons

Exemptions will be made on compassionate grounds and for essential reasons like childcare.

LAST UPDATE | 14 Oct 2020

A NATIONWIDE RESTRICTION on visitors to households is to come into force from tomorrow night, Cabinet has agreed.

The restrictions will remain in place for four weeks, until Tuesday 10 November.

People are advised not to visit other households indoors or in their gardens; exemptions will be made on compassionate grounds and essential reasons like caring or childcare.

Up to six people from up to two households can meet outdoors while maintaining social distancing, the Taoiseach clarified.

Level 3 allows for visitors from one other household, or no visitors at all. Previously, people had been permitted visitors from only one other household under Level 3.

Speaking after Cabinet met this evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the government has concerns about the virus nationwide.

“Full implementation of Level 3 can have a significant impact on the spread of the virus – but only if everyone follows the rules, and especially the spirit of the rules.”

He said that there had been a “poor application or adherence to the measures” in the areas of home visiting, sports training and events, and people going into the workplace when they “could and should work from home”, as well as “slippage” in areas such as retail.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that although there is a perception that house parties are to blame for a lack of adherence to the household visit restrictions, he said that this wasn’t the only example of it – and that “the family dinners at the weekend” have to stop to limit the spread of the virus.

Cabinet also agreed to move counties Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal to Level 4 restrictions based on high incidence rates in those border counties. 

Ministers met this evening in the wake of Northern Ireland’s decision to impose new restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, which include closures of schools, pubs and restaurants.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said that schools in Ireland will remain open despite ongoing concerns about the rise in Covid-19 cases, adding that positivity rates demonstrate that schools are relatively safe compared to other settings.

Earlier, 1,095 new cases and five deaths were confirmed in Ireland, with 1,217 new Covid-19 cases confirmed in Northern Ireland. 

With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha

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