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Ahead of today's announcement, here are the differences between Level 4 and Level 5 Covid restrictions

It’s understood that a middle ground between Level 4 and Level 5 is a probable scenario for the coming weeks.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Updated Oct 19th 2020, 9:40 AM

CABINET WILL MEET today to make a final decision on further Covid-19 restrictions following Saturday’s marathon talks at Government Buildings.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on Thursday recommended the entire country move to Level 5 for a period of six weeks following a continued rise in virus transmission. 

It’s understood that a middle ground between Level 4 and Level 5 is a probable scenario for the coming weeks.

Coalition leaders met on Saturday to discuss how to respond to advice to move to Level 5, but are yet to announce an outcome of their meeting.

It’s expected that an announcement will be made this evening of the exact measures decided by government. 

There are few differences between Level 4 and Level 5 but considering how strict both levels are it’s those small differences that could prove crucial for people’s livelihoods and wellbeing. 

The country is already under Level 3 of Covid-19 restrictions with Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan moving to Level 4 earlier this week. 

Though we don’t yet know what the Government will decide, let’s take a look at the differences between Level 4 and Level 5.

Social and family gatherings

  • No visitors to your home under Level 4 and Level 5
  • No social gatherings in other settings under Level 4 and Level 5

Organised indoor gatherings (cinemas etc)

  • Should not take place under both Level 4 and Level 5

Organised outdoor gatherings

  • No outdoor gatherings under Level 5
  • However, under Level 4 gatherings of up to 15 people can take place outdoors. For example: outdoor arts events or training events

Education

  • Schools and creches will remain open with protective measures under Level 4
  • Further, higher and adult education are to move primarily online, with appropriate protective measures in place for essential attendance on site under Level 4
  • The previous advice was that schools and creches would remain open in Level 5 – the advice under this heading is now unclear: “Recommendations based on situation and evidence at time.” However, play areas and parks will remain open with protective measures in place

Weddings

  • Up to 6 guests can attend a wedding ceremony and reception
  • Guests cannot leave their county to attend a wedding
  • These restrictions remain in place under both Level 4 and Level 5

Funerals

  • Up to 25 mourners can attend under Level 4 while under only 10 mourners can attend under Level 5

Sports – Level 4

  • No matches to take place other than limited exceptions
  • Outdoor non-contact training in pods of up to 15
  • Indoor individual training only
  • Professional and elite sport, inter-county and horse racing can take place behind closed doors
  • Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools closed

Sports – Level 5

  • There can be no matches or team training exercises – only individual training sessions can take place. No exercise or dance classes either, and swimming pools and gyms will be closed

Bars, cafes and restaurants – Level 4

  • Takeaway only, no indoor dining
  • Outdoor dining with a maximum 15 people

Bars, cafes and restaurants – Level 5

  • There can only be takeaway or food delivery services from cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs – including those in hotels

‘Wet pubs’ – Level 4

  • Outdoor seating only with a maximum 15 people

‘Wet pubs’ – Level 5

  • Take away or delivery only.

Retail – Level 4

  • Only essential retail and businesses that are primarily outdoors should open. All other retail and personal services should be closed
  • Details of essential services under Level 4 can be found here
  • Details of essential retail outlets under Level 4 can be found here

Retail – Level 5

  • Essential retail only. All other retail and personal services closed

Travelling within Ireland under Level 4

  • People should stay in their county except for essential work, education and other essential purposes

Travelling within Ireland under Level 5

  • Stay at home. Exercise within 5 kilometres of home.

Work under Level 4

  • Only essential workers should travel to work
  • Construction activity can continue
  • Manufacturing will remain open where necessary to ensure that all national and international supply chains are intact for essential goods

Work under Level 5

  • Work from home unless it is for working in health, social care or other essential service and cannot be done from home

Public transport – Level 4

  • People are being asked to avoid public transport, which will be operating at 25% capacity
  • School transport is unaffected

Public transport – Level 5

  • Public transport can operate with capacity restricted to 25% (it’s currently at 50%)

With reporting from Sean Murray

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