Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that Ireland will move to Level 5 restrictions for six weeks in response to a surge in Covid-19 cases
With over almost 1,000 new cases emerging daily over the past two weeks, the Government had no choice but to move to Level 5, the strictest of restrictions, but with a 'softer' measures in place.
The Taoiseach said that “many people have done everything that has been asked of them, but some have not”.
“As Taoiseach, I’m asking everyone again to take this threat seriously.”
He said that although they had already introduced what was one of Europe's strictest regime under Level 3 restrictions, “this has not been enough, and further action is now required” if they were to stop an already grave situation becoming much worse.
The restrictions will come into effect from midnight on Wednesday night for 6 weeks, until December 1st.
What happens under Level 5?
– Everyone is being asked to stay at home with no social or family gathering in homes or gardens are allowed. If you want to go for exercise, you're asked to go no further than 5km from your home.
– ‘Support bubbles’ between two households will be implemented for lone parents, those living alone and vulnerable people to ensure they are supported.
– Only essential retailers will be allowed to stay open: the Government is to enhance the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, with a range of new supports for businesses affected. Construction work will continue while most manufacturing will remain open
– Bars, restaurants and cafés will only be allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services.
– Schools, creches and other childcare services will also remain open to ensure that children were not a "victim of this disease. They need their education," Martin said.
– The number of guests allowed at weddings will stay at 25 (previously in the Living with Covid roadmap, only six attendees were to be allowed. The 25 includes the couple getting married and celebrant.
"I know how profoundly many will feel a sense of loneliness, anxiety and despair," the Taoiseach added. "But even as winter comes in, there is hope and there is light. If we all pull together, we can celebrate a meaningful Christmas. We will suppress this virus.
"We must persevere, we must be resilient. We will come through this together."
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