Living with Covid plan: What is in each of the five levels?

State placed on Level Two alert with additional restrictions applied to Dublin

A passenger wears a mask on a bus in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Government has announced a medium-term plan to suppress the spread of coronavirus while keeping as much of the country open as possible. At the core of the plan is an escalating five-level alert system.

The Government will decide on moving between levels based on advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team, which will be first assessed by a new Covid-19 Oversight Group chaired by the Government’s secretary general Martin Fraser with inputs from other Government departments. The chief medical officer and HSE chief executive will also sit on this group.

The criteria that will set alert levels will include the number and location of cases and clusters, recent incidence rates, the capacity to manage outbreaks and testing and contact tracing, along with the capacity of the hospital system, the number of deaths and the international situation.

This is how it works.


Level one

- Visitors are limited to 10 from up to three households inside your home or garden

- No more than 50 attendees are permitted outside your home or garden

- Up to 100 people can attend a wedding ceremony and reception

- Up to 100 people can attend indoor gatherings

- Up to 200 people for larger venues with two-metre distancing and one-way entry and exits

- Larger events will be permitted at very large stadiums, auditoriums or events

- Guidance will be developed for very large purpose-built event facilities

- Up to 100 spectators can attend indoor sporting fixtures

- Up to 200 spectators can attend outdoor sporting fixtures

- Up to 500 can attend outdoor stadiums with minimum capacity of 5,000

- Up to 50 people permitted at religious with more than 50 allowed in separate sub-groupings

- Nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed

- Wet pubs - defined as those that do not serve food - can open

Level two

- Visitors are limited to one household or up to six visitors from two or three other households

- Up to six people can meet indoors or up to 15 outdoors from up to three households

- Up to 50 people can attend a wedding ceremony and reception

- Up to 50 people can attend controlled indoor gatherings in pods or groups of up to six for business, training events, conferences, theatres, cinemas and other arts events

- Up to 100 people are permitted in larger venues with social distancing and one-way systems

- For large purpose-built event facilities,such as stadiums and event centres, guidance to be developed

- Up to 100 people will be permitted outdoors at majority of venues

- Up to 200 people permitted at outdoor stadium with minimum capacity of 5,000

- Sports training permitted up to 15 people (except for professional teams

- Sports training, exercise and dance can take place in pods of up to six inside

- Up to 100 people can watch sports events outdoors and 50 people indoors

- Up to 200 people can attend outdoor stadiums with minimum capacity of 5,000

- Up to 50 people can attend religious services and funerals

- Wet pubs can open but with groups limited to six people from no more than three households

- Public transport limited to 50 per cent capacity

Level three

- Visitors to your home or garden limited to one other household or your own household only

- No other social or family gatherings permitted

- Travel restricted to your county or region apart from work, education or essential reasons

- Attendance at a wedding ceremony or reception reduced to 25

- No indoor gatherings (including meetings, theatres, cinemas, arts venues) permitted

- Outdoor gatherings limited to just 15 people

- Sports training permitted outdoors in pods of up to 15 (excluding professional sports)

- Only individual indoor sports training permitted

- Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can remain open for individual training

- No sporting matches or events can take place

- Religious services must move online; places of worship for private prayer only

- Funeral attendance reduced to 25 mourners

- All museums, galleries and other cultural attractions must close; libraries go call and collect

- Additional restrictions will apply for indoor dining and wet pubs

- People must work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person

- Visiting at long-term residential care facilities, including nursing homes, suspended

Level four

- No visitors to homes permitted and no social or family gatherings elsewhere

- Attendance at a wedding ceremony or reception reduced to six

- Indoor gatherings banned

- Outdoor gatherings limited to no more than 15 people

- Sports training outdoors limited to non-contact training in pods of up to 15

- Individual training indoors permitted but no exercise or dance classes can take place

- Gyms and leisure centres must close

- Attendance at funerals remains limited at 25 mourners

- All museums, galleries and other cultural attractions must close; online services only

- Bars and restaurants must move to takeaway only; no indoor dining, outdoor limited to 15

- Wet pubs are only permitted to open for outdoor seating limited to a maximum of 15 people

- Travel remains restricted to county or region

- Schools, creches and universities will remain open

- Public transport limited to 25 per cent capacity

Level five

- People will be asked to stay home except to exercise within five kilometres of home

- No gatherings other than attending funerals or weddings

- Attendance at a wedding ceremony or reception remains at six guests

- Attendance at funerals reduced to 10 mourners

- Wet pubs can only offer takeaway or delivery service

- Schools, creches and universities will remain open


There will be additional measures applied to Dublin beyond Level Two.

- No more than two households can meet; no more than six visitors from one other household

- Pubs and bars not serving food should remain closed beyond September 21st

- Higher and third-level institutions should consider enhanced protective measures

- People in Dublin should limit travel outside the region and meet only one other household when outside the county

Criteria to determine moving between levels

- Number, location and characteristics of cases and clusters

- 14-day and 7-day cumulative virus incidence rate, five-day averages for counties, nationally

- Number of cases, positivity rates and reproduction number

- Outbreak management capacity in at risk settings or vulnerable groups

- Testing and contact tracing and disease surveillance capacity or performance

- Capacity to manage occupancy and admissions in hospitals and critical care

- Number of deaths

- Other measures including infection control data, uptake of seasonal flu and international situation