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Image / Editorial

New restrictions: Ban on household visits, 3 counties to Level 4

by Jennifer McShane
14th Oct 2020

With over 1000 new cases and five deaths announced on Wednesday evening, the Government has announced further national restrictions nationwide, as well as additional measures in three counties  

Cabinet has agreed on a nationwide ban on household visits except on compassionate grounds and essential reasons like childcare. This will come into effect from tomorrow night.

The ministers also agreed for Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal to move to Level 4 of the Government’s Living with Covid plan. The restrictions will remain in place for four weeks, until Tuesday, 10th November.

Under Level 4, no visitors are permitted to homes and indoor gatherings and events are banned. Non-essential retail outlets will have to shut. Construction and manufacturing will remain under the right conditions. Weddings are limited to only six. And everyone except essential workers must work from home.

Under the new restrictions for the Level 3 counties, people will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six people from up to two households in outdoor settings away from home and garden while maintaining social distancing – including for exercise and dining.

“I know how difficult this is for everyone and I understand the deep frustration people feel,” Taoiseach Micheál Martin said as he announced the new measures.

“We are on a journey with this virus and we have come to a difficult point in that journey,” he continued, saying the numbers of infections are “just too high” and that more action was needed.

“Full implementation of Level 3 can have a significant impact on the spread of the virus – but only if everyone follows the rules, and especially the spirit of the rules.”

“Hugely worrying”

In a press conference after the new restrictions were announced, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said, “We know that a lot if not most Covid transmission is happening in private homes”.

“Sometimes people associate that with house parties, but it’s not just that,” he said, adding that it was family gatherings, and friends coming over for a drink or cup of coffee indoors. “All those things have to stop because if they don’t stop the virus can’t be stopped,” he said.

The move comes after four weeks of increased restrictions will be brought in the North in an effort to combat the growth of the virus.

“The data coming out of the North is hugely worrying,” Martin added.

“We will continue to engage with the Northern Executive in the coming days to discuss the situation, and the need for continued North-South co-operation and co-ordination. As we have said before, the virus pays no heed to borders.”

Read more: Dr Tony Holohan’s return couldn’t have come at a better time

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