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Explainer: What restrictions are in Level 5?

No social gatherings at all, no dine-in bars, but schools and creches stay open.

LAST NIGHT, THE National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) recommended that the government implement Level 5 of its Covid-19 roadmap.

This is the most severe level of restrictions, which involves no social gatherings and no dine-in restaurants and pubs, but schools and creches remain open with restrictions.

It is understood that NPHET has recommended that this be put in place nationwide for four weeks.

The Cabinet would still need to approve such a recommendation before its implemented, but it shows a sign of how serious Ireland’s battle against Covid-19 has become in recent days. 

At the moment, Dublin and Donegal are under Level 3 restrictions, with the rest of the country under Level 2 restrictions.

Level 5 is practically a return to the restrictions we had back in April and May, but with schools, creches and play groups open. 

Social gatherings: You cannot have visitors to your house indoors or outdoors, and you cannot meet people in other settings either. Visits to nursing and care homes are suspended except in critical and compassionate circumstances.

Travel and transport: You cannot travel beyond 5km of your home. People should work from home unless they are essential workers or cannot do their job from home. Public transport can operate with capacity restricted to 25% (it’s currently at 50%).

Cocooning: People over 70 and people who are medically vulnerable should avoid public transport, shop during designated hours and limit their interactions to a small number of people.

Restaurants, pubs, retail and hotels: There can only be takeaway or food delivery services from cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs. Only essential retail outlets will be allowed to remain open, and hotels can only open for essential non-social or non-tourist purposes.

Weddings and funerals: A maximum of six people can attend weddings, and 10 people can attend funerals, with some other restrictions. Mass and other religious services will be moved online, but places of worship will remain open for individuals to pray.

Sport: There can be no matches or team training exercises – only individual training sessions can take place. No exercise or dance classes either.

It must be noted that the Irish government could adopt a Level 5 ‘plus’ either – which would include these measures plus additional ones.

This has happened before: Dublin is currently in ‘Level 3 plus’ where all rules follow the Level 3 restrictions, but alcohol-only pubs follow Level 4 restrictions (outdoor seating only, limited to 15 people). 

  • You can read more about all Five Levels here.

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