Life in Level 3: What is happening under the new restrictions in Dublin?

Covid-19 Q&A: Here’s what you need to know about the rules in place for Dublin

The Cabinet accepted recommendations on Friday, September 18th, from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on restrictions for Dublin to limit the spread of coronavirus.

From midnight on Friday, Dublin moved from Level 2 to Level 3 on the Government’s five-level structure for managing the pandemic that was unveiled on Tuesday. A number of extra restrictions will also be imposed on the capital.

This is what the new restrictions entails for the city and county:

Hospital Report

Can I travel outside Dublin?


People should not leave or enter the county unless for work, education or other essential purposes.

Am I allowed to have social or family gatherings?

You are allowed visitors from one other household only in your home or garden. No social or family gatherings should take place in other settings.

What about weddings?

Up to 25 people can attend a wedding ceremony and reception.

My wedding is this weekend - will I have to reduce the numbers attending now?

No, weddings organised for this weekend will be allowed to continue as planned, with the new restriction only coming into place on Monday.

I live in Dublin and am due to go to a wedding in county Wexford - am I still able to attend?

No, if the wedding is in Dublin you would be able to attend but as it is outside the county, you should not travel under the advice.

What happens to Mass and funerals?

Religious services move online in Level 3, while places of worship remain open for private prayer. Up to 25 mourners can attend funerals.

Can organised gatherings such as conferences or events in theatres/cinemas take place?

No organised indoor gatherings should take place. However, organised outdoor gatherings of up to 15 people can take place.

Museums, galleries and other cultural attractions all close under Level 3 while libraries will be available for e-services and call and collect. Outdoor playgrounds, play areas and parks will remain open.

What about sport?

Outdoor non-contact training is allowed only in pods of up to 15 people with an exemption for professional/elite/inter-county sports/senior club championship.

In terms of indoor training, only individual training can take place. No exercise or dance classes can happen indoors.

Can matches happen outside?

No matches or events are allowed to take place. There is an exemption again for professional/elite/inter-county/club championship/horse racing which can take place behind closed doors.

My son has a soccer match this weekend - is that now likely to be cancelled?

Yes, that will  be cancelled. However, as outlined, outdoor non-contact training in pods of up to 15 people can happen.

Will gyms have to close now?

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can remain open provided they have the necessary protective measures and for individual training only.

Are pubs and restaurants going to have to close?

The Government has already said that Dublin’s wet pubs will not open with those in the rest of the country on September 21st.

Generally, under Level 3 measures, wet pubs can remain open with additional restrictions. Bars, cafes and restaurants must implement additional restrictions for indoor dining.

However, pubs which serve food, and restaurants, will only be permitted to open in Dublin if they have outdoor dining facilities, or for takeaway services.

I’m due to go to a restaurant after work with a friend today [Friday], am I still allowed to go?

Yes. The new restrictions come into force at midnight.

What about hotels and similar accommodation?

They can remain open but services are to be limited to residents.

Is the advice to still work from home?

Yes, under Level 3 the Government’s advice is to “work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person”.

Will schools and creches remain open?

Schools and creches remain open under Level 3 with protective measures in place. Further, higher and adult education are to “escalate all appropriate protective measures and limit congregation as far as possible”.

But what does that actually mean for third-level education?

Third level colleges in Dublin are required to move as much tuition as possible online.

At present, most third-level institutions are preparing for a combination of online and in-person tuition, with students typically spending at least one day on campus each week.

Do over-70s or medically vulnerable people have to cocoon?

Those aged 70 years and over and the medically vulnerable are advised to “exercise judgment” regarding the extent to which they engage with others and in activities outside the home.

The Department of An Taoiseach has said “specific guidance” will also be provided.

Can I visit a relative in a nursing home?

Visits to long-term residential care facilities are suspended under Level 3 aside from “critical and compassionate circumstances”.

What about public transport?

Face coverings must continue to be worn on public transport. People are advised to walk or cycle where possible. Public transport capacity will be limited to 50 per cent.

Where does this leave retail and hairdressers/barbers?

Again, face coverings must continue to be worn when entering retail outlets, shopping centres, etc. They along with hairdressers, barbers and beauticians can remain open as long as the necessary protective measures are in place.

What needs to happen for Dublin to go back to Level 2 like the rest of the country?

The Government has said the lower levels of the framework will be activated when there is low incidence of the disease, with isolated outbreaks and low community transmission. The higher levels will be used to deal with higher incidences of the disease.

What is Dublin’s incidence rate right now?

The rate per 100,000 of the population in the county is now 114.2. This compares with a figure of 59.1 for Ireland as a whole.

Five out of eight HSE areas in the county have an incidence rate of more than 100, with Dublin North West having the highest rate at 173.4.