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Coronavirus: Entire country to be placed under Level 3 restrictions from midnight on Tuesday

NPHET had recommended that the country enter Level 5 – the highest level of restrictions.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressing the nation this evening.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressing the nation this evening.

Updated Oct 5th 2020, 9:09 PM

THE ENTIRE COUNTRY will be put under Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions from midnight on Tuesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced in an address this evening. 

The Taoiseach confirmed that the government decided not to enter further into lockdown measures by moving to Level 5. Ireland will instead enter Level 3 for a period of three weeks. 

The situation will be reviewed again after this period.

“This is not about public health and businesses competing against each other, it’s about lives and livelihoods. We can’t have one without the other,” Micheál Martin said. 

The Cabinet met today following a recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) that the entire country enter Level 5 – the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and other senior ministers discussed this with Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan earlier today. 

The government this evening rejected calls to move to Level 5 and instead proposed moving the country to Level 3. This was then approved by Cabinet. 

Currently, the rest of Ireland is at Level 2 while Dublin and Donegal are at Level 3. 

Level 3 restrictions

No more than six people from no more than two households can meet in a home or garden. 

No social/family gatherings should take place, aside from funerals and weddings. 

There are no indoor gatherings permitted. Outdoor gatherings of up to 15 people are allowed.

People should remain in their own counties except for those who need to travel for essential reasons such as work or education. 

All retail shops and shopping centres can stay open. People aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable are advised to continue to exercise personal judgement. 

As part of the new measures, indoor dining in pubs and restaurants will be banned across the country.

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

Pubs that do not serve food outside Dublin will be allowed to open but they will only be able to provide an outdoor service to a maximum of 15 people. ‘Wet’ pubs in Dublin will still remain closed.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the challenge with implementing new measures is “to be as effective and proportionate as possible”. 

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

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A NPHET source told TheJournal.ie last night that the “projections are very bad” and there needs to be a “major shift”. They said that there has been a “big deterioration” in the situation in the country in recent days.

The number of new daily confirmed cases has been increasing in Ireland over the past few weeks, with more than 1,000 new cases confirmed over the weekend.

On Saturday, there were 613 new cases confirmed, 470 cases on Friday and 442 on Thursday.

According to the latest data from the HPSC, the national incidence rate is 107 cases per 100,000 of the population on a 14-day rolling average.

With reporting by Christina Finn. 

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