By Sarah Mooney
The Government has unveiled its new “Living with Covid-19” plan, setting out how the country will manage the virus over the coming months.
The Taoiseach has described the new plan as a framework for rapidly managing outbreaks when they occur, restoring more of the economic and community life of the country and strengthening the country’s recovery.
Here is the plan in full.
The “Framework for Restrictive Measures,” a graded response to the level of virus circulating in a region, consists of five levels.
The entire country, including Dublin, has been placed at Level Two, with some extra restrictions in place for the capital on home visits, indoor gatherings, care home visits, as well as wet pubs remaining closed.
The Government has decided to “broadly support” European Commission proposals on overseas travel, with work underway to finalise an approach.
Ireland’s travel advisory and “green list” will be updated in line with the plan, once it has been agreed by the European Union. The European Commission plan sees a traffic light system for countries, depending on their incidence of the virus.
Events and gatherings
At Level Two, the “majority” of areas of the economy and society, including schools, restaurants, pubs and gyms, will remain open. Keeping schools and childcare facilities open while minimising disruption in the work force are a priority.
For gatherings in a home or garden, visitors from one other household only or up to six visitors from no more than three other households are permitted.
In other settings, members of different households can continue to meet socially with up to six people indoors or 15 outdoors from no more than three other households.
For weddings, up to 50 guests can attend a ceremony and reception. Religious services can house up to 50 worshipers, while funerals can be attended by up to 50 mourners.
These events, which include conferences, events in theatres, cinemas, music or other arts events, are deemed a “controlled environment” with a named event organiser, owner or manager.
For indoor gatherings, up to 50 patrons are permitted in groups of no more than six people, with arrangements to ensure no intermingling of groups. For larger venues, up to 100 patrons will be permitted where strict two-metre seated social distancing and one-way controls for entrances and exits can be implemented. For “very large” purpose built event facilities, such as stadia, auditoriums, conference or event centres, specific guidance will be developed to take account of size.
For outdoor gatherings, up to 100 patrons will be permitted for the majority of venues. For outdoor stadia or other fixed outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000, up to 200 patrons will be permitted.
Museums, galleries, bars, cafes, restaurants, wet pubs can open with protective measures in place and a maximum number of attendees linked to the capacity of the establishment. Nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.
Outdoor training can take place in pods of up to 15, with exemptions for professional, inter-county, senior club championship teams. Indoor training, including exercise and dance classes, can take place in pods of up to six, with exemptions for professional, inter-county, senior club championship teams.
At matches and events, up to 100 spectators can attend outdoors and 50 indoors. Up to 200 spectators will be permitted for venues with a capacity of at least 5,000.
Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can open with protective measures.
People should work from home if possible.
If using public transport, face coverings must be worn, capacity must be limited to 50 per cent, and peak hours are reserved for essential workers and purposes only.
There are no restrictions on domestic travel.
Business and economy
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment will remain open to new entrants or those laid off for a second time until the end of the year.
Key business supports will remain in place until 31 March 31 next year.