Multiple news sources have revealed on Sunday evening that The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended to Government that the entire country is moved to Level 5 restrictions in a bid to curb the latest rise in Covid-19 cases
Level 5 would be the highest level of restrictions possible in the State and the recommended period these restrictions would be in place for, would be four weeks.
Currently two counties – Dublin and Donegal – are at Level 3 while the rest of the country is at Level 2. There have been almost 1,000 new COVID cases confirmed in the Republic over the past 48 hours.
The move is said to have taken the Government by surprise and is understood to have come to light at a meeting of NPHET on Sunday, chaired by Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan who will officially return to his position this week after an extended absence for personal reasons.
It was reportedly decided enhanced measures were required due to "serious concern" at the rate of spread of the virus, though it is not yet known if the Government will agree to or push back against the recommended measures.
Due to the economical and social impact such restrictions would have on the entire country, there is said to be resistance to such extreme measures this early in the autumn/winter period, particularly as no other country in Europe has made such a move, excluding Israel.
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) October 4, 2020
What would the Level 5 restrictions be?
- Level 5 restrictions will see people asked to stay home except when exercising within five kilometres of their home
- No visitors to their home
- No social gatherings other than funerals or weddings (with a gathering of no more 6 people for weddings and 10 mourners to funerals)
- And so-called wet pubs must close, unless they can offer a takeaway service
- Museums, galleries and other cultural attractions would be closed.
- No matches or sporting events would be allowed, only individual training could continue and gyms would have to close.
- Public transport would be restricted to 25% capacity and people would be advised to walk or cycle instead
- Employees would be asked to work from home unless they are in health or other essential services
- Specific guidelines would be given to those over 70 and the medically vulnerable.
It isn't yet confirmed if schools and third-level institutions would remain open under Level 5 restrictions though sources say they would.
Party leaders will meet with the CMO tomorrow, Monday, to discuss in detail the recommendations.
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