Following a Cabinet meeting yesterday the government has decided to implement a number of measures in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The virus is on the increase in Ireland and in recent weeks there have been multiple outbreaks across workplaces, households, and in sports clubs. We need to act now to protect the vulnerable in our communities, enable schools to reopen and support the resumption of health services.
A number of measures are being put in place across the country until 13 September in an effort to stop the spread of the virus by limiting congregation and social interaction among households. There will also be an enhanced level of enforcement to ensure that workplaces, venues and organisers of activities adhere to the guidelines.
These are the measures agreed today.
visitors to your home or garden should be limited to not more than 6 from not more than 3 households
Cultural and social activities
Restaurants and cafes (including pubs that serve food and hotel restaurants)
they should close by 11.30pm
all customer facing staff to wear face coverings
all customers to wear face coverings until seated and again on departure
they are required to keep contact details to support contact tracing
all customers to be seated at a table, with no seating allowed at the bar and table service only
maximum of 6 seated at a table
no formal or informal events or parties should be organised in these premises
all tables must have hand sanitiser
Sporting events and matches can continue to take place but behind closed doors with:
strict avoidance of gatherings, including social gatherings, before or after events
strict adherence to 2 metre physical distancing before and after events, during breaks in play, on the sidelines and avoidance of team huddles
gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools/exercise and dance studios will remain open with strict distancing and other appropriate protective measures in place
limits of 6 apply to exercise and dance classes with appropriate physical distancing
limits of 15 apply to groups outside including training sessions (with exception of elite/professional sports and horseracing). There should be no mixing between groups
Unless it is absolutely essential for an employee to attend in person, they should work from home.
Travel and transport
people should avoid using public transport where possible
arrangements for school transport will proceed as planned for reopening but the Minster for Education and the Minister for Health and other relevant Ministers will review measures, including any additional resources, to ensure the safe operation of school transport for secondary school children
Over 70s and medically vulnerable
People over 70 and the medically vulnerable can still meet up with people and get outside for exercise but if at all possible should avoid public transport, shop during designated hours or seek assistance through the “community call” if needed in accessing food, essential supplies and medicine.
They are also advised to maintain a 2 metre distance from others when exercising outdoors and wash hands on returning home.
Roadmap for Resilience and Recovery
The government will finalise and publish a Roadmap for Resilience and Recovery in advance of 13 September. This will map how we balance public health, economic and social aspects of living with COVID-19 in the short to medium term and try to bring some greater certainty so that society and business can at least plan forward.
Everyone must play their part in ensuring that we suppress the virus so that we don’t have to re-impose stricter restrictions in the coming weeks. As a country we worked together to suppress COVID-19, we know what works. We must redouble this effort now and all follow the measures that we know work – regular handwashing, keeping a 2 metres distance between ourselves and others, good cough and sneeze etiquette, wearing face coverings on public transport and in shops and other indoor outlets, limiting contacts with others and self-isolating immediately and ringing the GP if you have any symptoms.