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Dublin is set to move from Level 2 to Level 3 - here's what that means

NPHET’s advice will be considered by a new oversight group this evening with an announcement expected tomorrow.
Sep 17th 2020, 6:44 PM 143,352 56

DUBLIN LOOKS SET to move from Level 2 to Level 3 of the Government’s five-level plan for ‘Living with Covid-19′ after NPHET recommended Level 3 be implemented for the capital following a meeting this afternoon. 

NPHET’s advice will be considered by a new oversight group chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach’s secretary general Martin Fraser this evening. 

We do not yet know what additional restrictions will be put in place by the Government for bars, restaurants and cafés or outdoor gatherings. 

A Cabinet subcommittee made up of the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and other senior ministers will meet tomorrow morning to further discuss the recommendations, with the full Cabinet to convene later tomorrow.

An official announcement is expected at some stage tomorrow afternoon or early evening.

Looking to the Government’s ‘Living with Covid-19′ plan, what does this mean for the daily lives of people in Dublin? Here are the differences between Level 2 and Level 3:


Unlike Level 2 – which provides for a number of options for household visitors – just one other household can visit your home under Level 3.

No social or family gatherings should take place in settings outside your home or garden. No organised indoor gatherings are permitted.

Work & Travel

Unlike Level 2 – wherein if you can work from home, you are advised to only attend work for essential on-site meetings, inductions and training – people are being told to work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person under Level 3. 

People are urged to stay in their county apart from work, education and other essential purposes – unlike Level 2 where there are no domestic travel restrictions. 


Schools and creches will remain open under Level 3, as will outdoor playgrounds and parks. 

Levels 1 – 5 of the Government’s Plan recommend schools staying open throughout the pandemic. 

‘Bars, cafés, restaurants’ 

Under Level 2, bars, cafés and restaurants can stay open with protective measures in place with maximum numbers in these settings set at individual groups of 6 people from up to 3 households. 

Under Level 3, bars, cafés and restaurants can remain open but with as-yet unspecified additional restrictions. 

We should find out more about what those additional restrictions look like for Dublin tomorrow. 


The maximum number of people who can attend a reception or ceremony is reduced down to 25 people under Level 3, down from 50 people under Level 2. 

Outdoor gatherings & sports

Level 2 allows for up to 100 patrons for the majority of venues.

Up to 200 patrons for outdoor stadia or other fixed outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000 – “with robust protective measures as per sectoral guidance”. 

Under Level 3 restrictions, gatherings of up to 15 people can take place outdoors, such as non-contact sports training or an outdoor arts event.

No matches or events can take place, with the exception of professional/elite/inter-county/club championship events.

Horse racing is also permitted to continue.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can remain open with protective measures, for individual training only, unlike in Level 2 where they can be open to the public so long as social distancing is possible. 

Religion, Arts, Public Transport

Religious services will now move to online only with up to 25 mourners being able to attend funerals – 50 mourners are permitted under Level 2 and 50 worshippers can attend mass. 

All museums, galleries and other cultural attractions will close under Level 3 – unlike Level 2 where these are allowed open with protective measures in place. 

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Capacity on public transport will be limited to 50% under Level 3. 

Nursing Homes & Hotels

Hotels can open but are limited to residents under Level 3, unlike Level 2 where they can be open with protective measures in place. 

Those aged 70 years and over and the medically vulnerable should “exercise judgement” under Level 3 regarding the extent to which they engage with others and in activities outside home.

Nursing home visits, meanwhile, will be suspended aside from critical and compassionate circumstances.

In a statement this evening, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn urged people to keep their distance and limit their contacts following a spike in Covid-19 cases in Dublin. 

“Act now to save lives. Limit your contacts as much as possible. Assume you and those you meet are infectious, keep your distance and do your part to keep others safe.”

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Cónal Thomas


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