Here are the key points from the new road map:
On the level
The ‘framework for restrictive measures’ consists of five levels.
The lower levels will be activated when there is low incidence of the disease, with isolated outbreaks, low community transmission.
The higher levels will be used to deal with higher incidences of the disease.
Level 1 involves the least amount of restrictions. It does not apply to anywhere at present as the whole country is on Level 2.
Level 1 will allow up to ten visitors from up to three households to your house. Up to 100 people will be able to attend weddings and organised indoor gatherings (eg: business meetings).
Up to 500 people will be able to attend outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000 with a maximum of 200 patrons allowed in most other outdoor venues.
Nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed under Level 1.
Level 2 applies to the country at present (with some exceptions for Dublin, see below).
Visitors from one other household only or up to six visitors from two to three other households are allowed in your home.
All the other provisions for Level 2 are outlined below under various categories (sports, weddings etc).
Level 3 restrictions will limit visitors to your home to one other household only (this has been introduced in Dublin). No social or family gatherings should take place in other settings.
Weddings will be limited to 25 while outdoor gatherings will be capped at 15. Sports training can continue but no matches will be allowed. All museums and galleries will be closed.
Restaurants WILL be able to remain open for indoor dining – with added restrictions.
A Government spokesperson said there was an error in the Level 3 guidelines published earlier that has now been corrected.
It had originally said that restaurants would remain open for takeaway and outdoor dining only.
It now states that “additional restrictions will apply to restaurants and pubs”.
Travel-wise, you will be asked to stay in your county apart from work, education and other essential purposes.
Level 4 – Keeping schools and childcare services open will remain a priority. No visitors will be allowed to your home and weddings will be limited to six people.
Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will be closed and in-person religious services cancelled. Funerals will have a cap of 25 mourners.
There will be no indoor dining allowed and pubs will only be allowed to serve 15 customers outdoors.
Level 5 will be similar to Level 4, but with domestic travel restrictions in place. People will be advised to stay at home and only exercise within 5km of where they live.
However, schools and creches can remain open with protective measures in place.
Changes in Dublin
Rising rates of infection in the capital can be reversed by adhering to the guidance, said Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar urged Dubliners to follow the four Ws: “Welcome no more than one other household to your home, wash your hands, watch your distance – stay two metres apart – and wear a face covering when necessary.”
Pubs that do not serve food will not now reopen in the capital next week.
No more than two households can meet at one time. Up to six people will be able to visit another person’s home but they must all come from a single household, compared to three households elsewhere in the country.
The exemption allowing a maximum number of 200 patrons at certain outdoor venues with a 5,000 capacity will not yet apply in Dublin.
There is also strong advice that people should try to avoid travelling outside the capital where possible. When outside the county, they should not meet up with more than one other household.
Pubs that do not serve food can open under Level 2 (except for Dublin) with robust protective measures in place.
Maximum numbers are linked to the capacity of the establishment, but with individual groups limited to six people from no more than three households.
International travel will be governed by European Commission proposals in the medium-term.
The Government is engaging with member states to finalise a new framework.
“As the Taoiseach confirmed today we will be aligning our travel advice with the proposal of the European Commission once it has been approved in October,” the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed.
Under Level 2, up to 100 patrons/spectators are allowed outdoors and 50 patrons/spectators indoors.
Up to 200 attendees allowed for outdoor stadiums or other fixed outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000. However, this does not yet apply in Dublin.
Outdoor training can take place in pods of up to 15. Indoor training, exercise and dance classes can take place in pods of up to six inside.
Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can open with protective measures, taking account of public health advice, including social distancing.
The current Level 2 guidance is that the limit remains at 50. If we move to Level 1, then the numbers can go up to 100.
If we move to Level 3, the limit is 25 people, on Level 4 and 5, it’s six guests maximum.
The flu vaccine will be free to all vulnerable groups including children under 12. There will also be increased mental health supports.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said on Twitter that the new Winter Plan – to be announced in coming days – will include extra home care hours, community specialist teams, access to diagnostics for GPs and additional beds.
It will also focus on adding capacity for those who need to be treated in hospital, supporting cancer screening and care, as well as hiring thousands of people to run the testing and tracing system.
Arts, music culture
Under the current Level 2, up to 50 patrons are permitted (and in pods or groups of up to six if appropriate) for arts events with arrangements to ensure no intermingling of groups.
Up to 100 patrons are permitted for larger venues where strict two-metre seated social distancing and one-way controls for entry and exit can be implemented.
Key business supports will remain in place until 31 March 2021. The PUP will now be open to new entrants. A series of local activation measures will be introduced.
People are still encouraged to work from home under the current Level 2.
Religious services and funerals
Level 2 allows for a capacity of greater than 50 in separated sub-groupings of no more than 50, with additional protective measures as per guidelines.
Up to 50 mourners can attend a funeral.