By Kenneth Fox
The Government has decided to move the entire country to Level 5 restrictions based on the most recent advise from the National Public Health Emergency team (Nphet).
Some of the measures include non-essential retail outlets being forced to close and restrictions on people’s movements.
The full list of Level 5 restrictions are as follows:
-People are asked to stay at home. People should work from home unless providing an essential service for which their physical presence is required.
-People will be permitted to exercise within a radius of 5km of their home.
-There will be a penalty for movement outside 5km of home, with exemptions to this for essential work and essential purposes.
Essential purposes for travel (permitted outside 5k limit)
-Travel to and from work, where work involves providing an essential service.
-To attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products
-For vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, and in particular for those who live alone, as part of an extended household, but excluding social family visits.
-To attend a wedding or funeral.
-For farming purposes i.e. food production and/or care of animals.
-To visit a grave.
-In line with current NPHET advice in respect of Level 5, schools, early learning and childcare services will continue to remain open and are deemed essential.
-In addition, in recognition of the impact on children and young people of restrictions, non-contact training can continue for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15. All other training activities should be individual only.
Household visits and gatherings
-There should be no visits to other people’s homes or gardens.
-However, there will be the concept of an extended household (or support bubble) for defined categories of individuals to support those at risk of social isolation and/or mental ill-health.
-No social/family gatherings should take place, with the exemptions to this for weddings and funerals.
-It is possible to meet with one other household in an outdoor setting which is not a home or garden, such as a park, including for exercise.
-There should be no organised indoor or outdoor events.
Essential retail outlets
-Essential retail and essential services will remain open. These include:
1.Outlets selling food or beverages on a takeaway basis, or newspapers, whether on a retail or wholesale basis and whether in a non-specialised or specialised outlet.
2. Markets that, wholly or principally, offer food for sale.
3. Outlets selling products necessary for the essential upkeep and functioning of places of residence and businesses, whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
4. Pharmacies, chemists and retailers or wholesalers providing pharmaceuticals or pharmaceutical or dispensing services, whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
5. Outlets selling health, medical or orthopaedic goods in a specialised outlet, whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
6. Fuel service stations and heating fuel providers.
7. Outlets selling essential items for the health and welfare of animals (including animal feed and veterinary medicinal products, pet food, animal bedding and animal supplies), whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
8. Laundries and drycleaners.
9. Banks, post offices and credit unions.
10. Outlets selling safety supplies (including work-wear apparel, footwear and personal protective equipment), whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
11. Hardware outlets, builders’ merchants and outlets that provide, whether on a retail or wholesale basis –
(a) hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance or construction and development,
(b) sanitation and farm equipment, or
(c) supplies and tools essential for farming or agriculture purposes.
12 Outlets providing for the repair and maintenance of mechanically propelled vehicles or bicycles and any related facilities (including tyre sales and repairs).
13. The following outlets, insofar as they offer services on an emergency basis only:
(a) Optician and optometrist outlets.
(b) Outlets providing hearing test services or selling hearing aids and appliances.
(c) Outlets selling office products and services for businesses or for relevant persons working from their respective places of residence, whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
(d) Outlets providing electrical, information and communications technology and telephone sales, repair and maintenance services for places of residence and businesses.
14. Any other retail outlet that operates an online or other remote system of ordering goods for purposes of collection at the retail outlet.
Physical attendance at workplaces is only permitted for those providing the following services where such services can only be provided in person and cannot be delivered remotely. It does not include administrative and other support for such businesses and services unless specified in section 13 and the physical presence of a worker is required.
Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, fishing, animal welfare and related services
1. The following services relating to agriculture, horticulture, forestry, fishing, animal welfare and related services:
(b) farm labour
(c) farm relief services
(d) crop and animal production
(e) fishing for commercial purposes
(f) aquaculture and fish farming
(i) veterinary, animal welfare and related services
(j) marts held online only
Public transport will operate at 25 per cent capacity for the purposes of allowing those providing essential services to get to work [School transport unaffected].
-No training or matches should take place, with the exception of professional, elite sports and inter-county Gaelic games, horse-racing and greyhound racing, which are being permitted to continue behind closed doors.
Bars, Restaurants and hotels
-Bars, cafes, restaurants and wet pubs may provide take-away and delivery services only. Wet pubs in Dublin remain closed.
-Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs may remain open, but only to support provision of essential services.
The elderly and medically vulnerable
-Those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable are advised to continue to exercise personal judgement.
-It is recommended that they stay at home as much as possible, limit engagement to a very small network for short periods of time, while remaining physically distanced.
-When taking exercise outdoors, it is important to maintain 2 metres distance from others and wash hands on returning home. It is recommended to shop during designated hours only, while wearing a face covering, and to avoid public transport.
-Religious services will be available online.
-Visits to Long Term Residential Care facilities are suspended with the exception of visits required for critical and compassionate circumstances
Museums and libraries
-Museums, galleries and other cultural attractions will remain closed.
-Libraries will be available for online services only.
-Outdoor playgrounds, play areas and parks will remain open with protective measures.