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Coronavirus: The entire nation is going to Level 3 - here's what that means

There will be changes for the whole nation from midnight tomorrow night.

Image: Sasko Lazarov via

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has announced that the whole country is to go under Level 3 restrictions as cases of Covid-19 continue to increase. 

Despite a recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to move the country into Level 5, the Government rejected the advice today and instead opted to bring the rest of the counties in line with Donegal and Dublin.

Martin said it is “important to understand that we are in a very different situation to last March”. 

“The virus is spreading because people are allowing it to spread,” he said. 

According to the Government, the priority is to keep schools and early learning and childcare services open, and minimise disruption in the workforce. This means that a number of services will be moved online and some businesses will be closed.

But what does this mean for you? 

First off, the Government wants you to stay in your own county – unless it’s for work, education or other essential purposes. If you do need to get around, the advice is to walk or cycle to your destination where possible. Public transport will still be running at 50% capacity and face coverings are mandatory. 

Visitors are only allowed from just one other household to a maximum of 6 people OR your own household only.

Schools, creches and childcare services are staying open. So too are playgrounds and parks.

If you’re over 70, the advice is that you should “exercise judgement regarding the extent to which you engage with others and in activities outside the home”. It is recommended that you stay at home as much as possible, limit engagement to a very small network for short periods of time, while remaining physically distanced.   

Visits to nursing homes are also banned except on critical and compassionate grounds. 

Weddings, funerals and gatherings

All religious services are to be moved online. However, 25 people will be permitted to attend weddings and funerals. 

Couples resident in a particular county, but with existing plans to can travel to get married outside that county.

All organised indoor gatherings, such as business, training events, conferences, events in theatres and cinemas or other arts events are banned. 

Outdoors – up to 15 people are allowed at events such as training events. 


Gyms are going to stay open but for individual training, meaning exercise classes are cancelled. 

Non-contact sports training in pods of up to 15 people is allowed, with strict adherence to the relevant protective measures. There is an exemption to this for professional or elite athletes, for inter-county sports and for senior club championship training.

No matches or other sporting events should take place, with the exception of professional, elite, inter county and senior club championship which should take place behind closed doors.  Horse racing may continue, but behind closed doors.

Pubs and restaurants

Martin announced that all indoor dining in pubs and restaurants will be banned across the country under the Level 3 restrictions being imposed from midnight tomorrow.

Outdoor seating and service will be allowed outside restaurants and wet pubs.

However, wet pubs (those which don’t serve food) will remain closed in Dublin.

Nightclubs and casinos remain closed. 

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Retail and services

Shops, hairdressers and other services can remain open but face coverings are mandatory and other protective measures must be in place. 

Hotels, guesthouses and B and Bs can stay open, but with services limited to residents.

The Government advice for different sections can be found below: 

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