Government moves all of Ireland to level three Covid-19 restrictions

Aoibhín Meghen

The Cabinet approved a move into Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions for the entire state on Monday October 5th.

This decision was made following a recommendation made by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on Sunday night that Ireland should enter Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions. 

The Level 3 restrictions will come into place on Tuesday at midnight and the country will remain at this level for three weeks until October 27th when it will be reviewed again by Ministers.

Despite NPHET’s advice, cabinet felt that Level 3 restrictions with strict enforcement would be sufficient to help lower the cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

There was a huge public reaction on Sunday night following NPHET’s announcement. With many people feeling that they should not have made their recommendations public until Cabinet had made their decision.

Many also questioned why there was a need to move to Level 5 when the Thursday before NPHET had stated that the data did not warrant any further escalation in restrictions.

Level 5 is the highest level in the Living with Covid-19 Plan and would close all non-essential shops, restaurants and pubs would only be able to offer takeaway as well as restrictions on movement and the cancellation of all gatherings except for weddings and funerals.

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly defended the government’s decision not to move to Level 5 saying it is “the best decision on behalf of the country.”

Minister Donnelly praised NPHET for the work they have done but said that the government must make decisions based on how they will affect Irish society as a whole.

There were 518 confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Monday October 5th according to The majority of virus transmissions are happening through close contact with a confirmed case while community transmission is at 28 per cent.

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan returned to his post this week after taking time off for personal reasons. 

In reaction to the current number of cases in Ireland he stressed the importance of doing “everything in our power now to arrest the current trajectory nationally and very substantially suppress the virus back down to a low level of transmission in advance of the winter months.”

Under these new restrictions pubs and restaurants may stay open but they can only offer outdoor seating to a maximum of 15 people at once. They may also continue offering takeaway services. 

Individuals are advised also to stay within their county unless they are travelling for work, education or making other necessary journeys.

Both Dublin and Donegal were in level three already due to a significant number of cases in those areas. Despite cases still remaining high in these areas further restrictions will not be imposed as of yet.

Aoibhín Meghen

Image Credit: RTÉ

Note: This article was reuploaded on 21/03/2021 due to a fault with The College View website