Six months after the Covid-19 pandemic led to the closure of schools and significant changes to how people work and socialise, the Government has today announced details of a new five-point framework to live with Covid-19 in the medium term.
The Resilience & Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with Covid-19 which will guide Ireland’s response to saving lives and managing the pandemic over the next seven months.
Speaking this morning, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said we are “not yet able to make Covid-19 part of our past”, but have more clarity on how get to that point.
The new framework, which is being introduced, will have five levels of response to different levels of threat from the virus.
Each level outlines what is permitted for social or family gatherings, work and public transport, bars, hotels and restaurants, exercise activities and religious services.
The lower levels of the plan will be activated when there is low incidence of the disease, with isolated outbreaks, low community transmission.
The higher levels will be used to deal with higher incidences of the disease.
It will be possible for different regions and counties to be at a different level to the National Level, depending on the incidence of the virus in that particular region or county.
Every county in the country is currently at level 2 and this remains effective until October 4th.
Additional measures are also to be put in place in Dublin to suppress the spread of the virus there.
At Level 2, the majority of areas of economy and society are open including schools, restaurants, pubs and gyms, are open.
The plan states:
Visitors from one other household only are allowed or up to 6 visitors from 2 other households or 3 other households.
Up to 50 people can attend a wedding ceremony and reception, and up to 50 mourners can attend a funeral.
For certain outdoor gatherings, with a named event organiser, owner or manager such as an outdoor arts events, up to 100 patrons are permitted for the majority of venues.
Up to 200 patrons for outdoor stadia or other fixed outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000 (with robust protective measures as per sectoral guidance).
For very large purpose built event facilities (for example: stadia, auditoriums, conference or event centres) specific guidance will be developed with the relevant sectors.
The Taoiseach stressed that rising rates of infection can be reversed by concerted public action.
Speaking this morning, the Taoiseach also announced that key business supports will remain in place until March and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will remain open to new entrants until the end of the year.
The Government is also to support the European Commission proposals on travel.
Countries with a 14-day cumulative rate of disease incidence per 100,000 of 25 or less will be included on the "Normal Precautions" (green) list.
Pubs will open in 25 counties including Cork on September 21st.
More to follow