The advice below includes a summary of the new measures announced by the Government on Tuesday 18 August.
Ireland is currently in Phase 3 of the government’s roadmap for reopening society and business, but while COVID-19 is part of our daily lives and will remain so for the foreseeable future we need to follow government guidelines to help reduce the risk of the disease spreading. We are still advised to:
- Wash your hands well and often
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing, and discard used tissue safely
- Distance yourself at least 2 metres away from other people, especially those who might be unwell
- Limit your contact with others when out and about• keep your close contacts to a small number of people
- Keep a log of all of your contacts throughout the day• limit the amount of time you spend in direct contact with other people•
- Avoid crowded areas. If an area looks busy, go somewhere else or return at a quieter time
- By law, face coverings are to be worn on public transport and in shops, shopping centers and some other indoor settings.
Transport and travel within Ireland
Travel is now allowed throughout the country, subject to extra measures currently in place in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly, and to Ireland’s offshore islands. Follow this advice if you live in one of those counties→
- Avoid using public transport where possible.
- Do not share private vehicles with people from outside your household. If this is not possible, face coverings should be worn when sharing a vehicle.
Travel outside Ireland
- Non-essential travel outside of Ireland is not recommended at this time and should be avoided.
- Anyone arriving to Ireland from overseas must complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. Further information and guidance is available here.
Using public transport
- Public transport should be avoided if possible. If you must take public transport, you are required to wear a face covering on public transport, stay at a 2-meter distance, if possible, during the journey and wash your hands when you return home.
Social/family visits and gatherings
- Indoor and outdoor social visits to people’s homes should be limited to a maximum of 6 visitors from no more than 3 other households.
Limits on mass gatherings have now been reintroduced.
- Indoor and outdoor gatherings in private households are now limited to 6 people from no more than 3 households.
- Indoor gatherings and events are limited to 50 people if they are deemed to be in a controlled environment such as a cinema, gallery etc.
- Outdoor gatherings and events are limited to 15 people.
- Weddings are exempt from this guidance and can be held with up to 50 people in attendance including staff working at the venue.
Cultural, Social and Sport Measures
- All remaining community, religious, cultural, social and sport facilities can remain open.
- Sporting events and matches can continue to take place behind closed doors.
- Gatherings, including social gatherings, before or after events must be avoided. Participants should practice 2 metre physical distancing before and after events, during breaks in play, on the sidelines and team huddles should be avoided.
- Gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools/exercise and dance studios can remain open with strict distancing and other appropriate protective measures in place.
- Exercise and dance classes should be limited to 6 people and observe physical distancing rules.
- Groups exercising outdoors should be limited to 15 people, including training sessions. There should be no mixing between groups.
However, businesses/services such as cinemas, galleries, theatres etc. are deemed to be controlled environments, with appropriate protective measures in place such as physical distancing between people.
These venues can continue to operate under existing limits of 50 indoors where appropriate physical distancing can continue to be maintained. Individual groupings attending these venues must be limited to six people from no more than 3 households.
Outdoor arts events should be limited to 15 people.
For further assistance, event organisers in the cultural sector can email email@example.com with their query and contact number.
Restaurants and Cafes (including pubs that serve food and hotel restaurants)
Restaurants and cafes can remain open but must follow additional public health measures:
- They must close to the public by 11.30pm
- Face coverings must be worn by staff in customer facing roles where no other protective measures are in place e.g. protective screens and where physical distancing of 2 metres is not possible. They must also be worn by customers when arriving to and leaving their table
- businesses should keep contact details of all customers to help with contact tracing should a customer be confirmed as having COVID-19
- Table service must be provided and customers should not be allowed sit at the bar
- There should be a maximum of six people from no more than 3 households allowed at a table
- Events, parties or gatherings of more than 6 people indoors or 15 people outdoors are not allowed in these settings
- Venues providing food to the public are also required to observe the same public health recommendations for operating as outlined in the retail, personal and commercial activities section below.
Education and Childcare Measures
All of the following can remain open and It is recommended that those responsible for these facilities to have carried out a risk assessment before reopening to manage the public health risk for their customers, attendees, participants and staff.
- All adult education facilities
- Creches, childminding facilities and pre-schools
- Summer camps
- Youth clubs
- All indoor and outdoor amenities for children
Advice for people over 70 and those who are extremely medically vulnerable
- Protect yourself from infection by staying at home as much as you can
- Only consider meeting with the same core group of family or friends who are aware of your circumstances and willing to adhere to protective measures.
- Visitors should not visit you if they are unwell, should keep at a 2-meter distance, wash their hands for at least 20 seconds on arrival and should wear face coverings
- If you are attending shops and services it is important to follow the public health measures and attend shops that provide dedicated hours for those who are over 70 and medically vulnerable which will enable you to do your shopping in a safer way.Healthcare and Residential Care Measures
- The resumption of visiting at hospitals, nursing homes and other residential settings on a planned and phased basis is continuing.
- Contact your hospital, nursing home or residential care facility for details ahead of making any visits.
- You should not visit a healthcare or residential care facility if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 infection or are feeling unwell. You should not visit if you have been told you are a close contact of someone confirmed as having COVID-19.
Retail, personal and commercial activities
During Phase 3 a wider range of retail outlets, including contact personal services, and commercial services are allowed to reopen. These include:
- Wellbeing services – for example: chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology and homoeopathy
- Hairdressers, barbers, nail and brow salons, beauty salons, spas, make-up application services, tanning, tattooing and piercing services
- Driving schools
- All remaining retail (for example, bookmakers), services and commercial activities• driving tests as well as volunteer and other driving services
- Cafés and restaurants providing on premises food and beverages• pubs and hotel bars operating as restaurants
- Hotels, hostels, caravan parks and holiday parks
- Anyone who can work from home should continue to do so.
- Employers should put measures in place to reduce the number of workers interacting with each other onsite at work at any one time. These could include having a smaller number of workers return initially, shift work, and staggered hours.
- When workplaces reopen, they should be adequately prepared.
- Works should know the symptoms of COVID-19. Stay at home and don’t go to work if they have them.
- If you have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 – you should stay at home and not go to work.