Here we go again – only this time it’s nationwide.
Following the level three Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland that have been placed on Dublin and Donegal for the past number of weeks, the decision has been made to move the entire country to level three.
This, coming on the back of suggestions on Sunday evening through Monday morning that Ireland would need to move to level five thus reverting to the nationwide lockdown experienced in March/April.
Advice coming from NPHET, Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team, was to move the entire country to level five status effective midnight Monday but reports out of Leinster House by Monday afternoon suggested the Government would reject the advice and instead adopt level three restrictions nationwide.
That’s now been confirmed with the entire country moving to level three restrictions until 27 October effective midnight Tuesday.
So, to recap, what does it mean for your favourite eateries?
As it stands, restaurants and cafés (including bars/pubs serving food) may remain open for take-away and delivery service along with outdoor dining to a maximum of 15 people. If you can’t provide outdoor dining, it’s back to take-away or delivery.
If that’s not an option, it looks like doors closed.
For ‘wet pubs’, those outside Dublin can remain open but can’t have anyone seated indoors, instead serving to a max 15 outdoors. That also means that those within Dublin (currently closed) will remain closed.
Attendance at weddings is also set to be halved and capped at 25 further impacting hotel venues. Limits were already at 50 but in that you had to have an allowance for staff at the event.
The advice around travel is that for level three you must stay within your county bounds meaning the weekend trip you were planning to Greystones from Dublin or Tramore from Kilkenny will have to wait.
But for those who have only recently opened their doors in the hope of making something out of the remainder of 2020, it all makes for a tough couple of weeks.
And outside of food?
A few other things of note are going to happen this week. Indoor cultural attractions and venues (museums, theatres, galleries) will all close.
Some businesses, gyms, training facilties will return to working online. Schools and creches will remain open to minimise disruption on those working. Nightclubs, discos and casinos remain closed as they have been for some time already.
No social or family gatherings should take place anywhere outside of the home and at that, you’re allowed visitors from one other household only, to a maximum of six people.
Also, no exercise classes, no dance classes can take place but individual training in facilities is allowed.
Public transport capacities will also be cut back to 50% and deemed for essential works and essential purposes only.
When do the restrictions start?
Donegal and Dublin have been under additional restrictions for the past fortnight but the rest of the country will join them effective midnight Tuesday (first thing Wednesday).
Level three restrictions will last for the next three weeks, until 27 October.
The measures are suggested to be under constant review with a call on whether to scale back to level two, maintain, or shift to level four.
More to follow…