Ireland’s new Covid-19 rule levels: A guide to what they could look like

Scale of activity, visiting numbers and freedom of movement to vary with specific status

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has called for "concerted public action" as the Government announces its medium-term plan for coping with coronavirus. Video: RTÉ

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Level one
This is the level that is closest to where we were in the summer. It’s not normal, as restrictions remain. No more than 10 visitors from three households can be in a home at any one time.

In addition, restrictions will apply to indoor and outdoor gatherings, although this might be varied by the Cabinet on Tuesday. One hundred will be able to gather indoors for organised events, subject to social distancing .

For outdoor gatherings, such as matches, the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team is that no more than 200 should gather, although the Government is likely to increase that to 500.

Working from home is encouraged but people will not be asked not to go into their workplace if social distancing guidelines cannot be achieved. All hospitality premises will be open.

Level two
Here, pinches begin. The number of people allowed to visit a home is reduced to six from three households. The number of people allowed at indoor events – such as weddings, cinema and theatre – falls to 50, down from 100.

For outdoor events, the number is reduced to 50 – however, this is also going to be varied. Wet pubs will be allowed reopen under Level Two.

Level three
This is a big step-up in restrictions. For one, visitors will be barred from nursing and care homes, except for compassionate reasons and then they will only be allowed with full personal protective equipment to stop the virus getting inside the walls.

Six visitors to homes will be permissible, but only from two households, not three. Some businesses will face closure orders, or limits on their operations. This will affect the hospitality industry.

People will be asked to work from home. Travel may be recommended only for essential reasons, but there would not be a formal ban. Stiffer curbs on indoor and outdoor events would flow too.

Level four
Again, the screws will tighten. Household visits will be banned, as will visits to most institutions. Indoor gatherings will be banned. Sports will happen without spectators.

There could also be travel restrictions, with people being asked to stay within the area or county where there is a level-four status. Schools and colleges will remain open, though subject to restrictions.

Level five
If ever implemented, it would take us back to the lockdown that happened during March and April with travel restricted to 5km of home, no travel to work and no indoor or outdoor gatherings.

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