15 Aug 2022

EXPLAINER: What are the new Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions from Christmas Eve

What are the new Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions coming into place after Christmas

What are the new Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions coming into place after Christmas

New Level 5 Restrictions for Ireland have been announced for Ireland by the Government and they will start coming into force on Christmas Eve. 

It will begin on Christmas Eve with restaurants and gastropubs shutting at 3pm. The measures will be reviewed on January 12. More below table.

The full list of restrictions is as follows:

Social and family gatherings
If you live alone - you can form a support bubble with another household.

Current provisions (visits from up to 2 other households) remain in place up to and including 26 December.

Visits to private homes/gardens will be allowed from one other household up to and including 31 December. In both cases, for those who are part of a support bubble, the bubble counts as one household.

From 1 January no visitors are allowed in private homes/gardens except for essential family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, or as part of a support bubble.

Up to and including 2 January, 25 guests can attend a wedding ceremony and reception, whether indoors or outdoors. From 3 January, up to 6 guests are permitted.

Organised indoor gatherings
These are controlled environments with a named event organiser, owner or manager.
For example: business, training events, conferences, events in theatres and cinemas or other arts events (excluding sport).
No organised indoor gatherings should take place.

Organised outdoor gatherings
These are controlled environments with a named event organiser, owner or manager. For example: outdoor Arts events, training events - No organised outdoor gatherings should take place.

Exercise and sporting events
Training and matches
No training or matches should take place, with the following exceptions:

non-contact training in pods of up to 15 may take place outdoors
professional, elite sports, horse-racing and greyhound racing are permitted to continue behind closed doors
All other training activities should be individual only.
No exercise or dance classes are permitted.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools
Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools may remain open for individual training only.

Religious services
Christmas religious services may take place.
Religious services will move online after 25 December.
Places of worship may remain open for private prayer.

Up to 10 mourners can attend.

Museums, galleries and other cultural attractions
All venues closed.
Libraries will be available for online services only.
Bars, cafes and restaurants (including hotel restaurants and bars)
Restaurants and pubs operating as restaurants will close at 3pm on 24 December.
Hotels may provide food and bar services to guests only after that point.

Wet pubs

Nightclubs, discos, casinos
Nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.

Hotels and accommodation
Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs may remain open, but only for essential non-social and non-tourist purposes.
Hotels may provide food and bar services to guests only after 3pm on 24 December.
Guests who already have a booking and are due to check in up to and including 26 December.

Retail and services (for example: hairdressers, beauticians, barbers)
Face coverings must be worn.
All retail and essential services will remain open. This includes food shopping and marts.
The retail sector is asked to defer January sales events.
All other personal services are closed.

You should work from home unless essential for work, which is an essential health, social care or other essential service and cannot be done from home.

Domestic travel restrictions
Stay at home.

Exercise as close to home as possible.

Travel outside your county will continue to be permitted up to and including 26 December. Those away from their place of residence after that period will be permitted to return to their place of residence.

From 27 December you must stay within your county unless you need to leave for essential purposes, as follows:

travel to and from work, where work involves providing an essential service
to attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products
travel to attend disability day services
travel to attend a court
for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, and in particular for those who live alone but excluding social family visits
for farming purposes (food production or care of animals)
to attend a wedding or funeral
to visit a grave

Schools and creches
In line with current NPHET advice in respect of Level 5, schools, early learning and childcare services will continue to remain open and are deemed essential.

Higher and adult education
Primarily online with exemptions for essential onsite activities.
Outdoor playgrounds, play areas and parks
Open with protective measures in place.

Face coverings must be worn.
Walk or cycle where possible.
Public transport will operate at 25% capacity for the purposes of allowing those providing essential services to get to work.
School transport is unaffected.

Social work and care services
In line with NPHET advice on Level 5, social work and social care services, (including disability services, mental health services, child protection and welfare services, domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services) and homeless services including homeless outreach services will remain open and are deemed essential.
Over 70 and medically vulnerable individuals
Those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable are advised to continue to exercise personal judgement.
It is recommended that they stay at home as much as possible, limit engagement to a very small network for short periods of time, while remaining physically distanced.
When taking exercise outdoors, it is important to maintain 2 metres distance from others and wash hands on returning home.
It is recommended to shop during designated hours only, while wearing a face covering, and to avoid public transport.
Visiting long-term residential care facilities (nursing and care homes)
Suspended, with the exception of visits required for critical and compassionate circumstances.

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