By Charlie Loran • 06 October 2020 • 10:57
IRELAND is moving up to level 3 to avoid another lockdown – despite calls from the country’s health chiefs.
Prime Minister Micheal Martin has announced that Ireland would move from level 2 of its restrictions to level 3, with new measures including a ban on all indoor restaurant dining.
The move, which will come into force from Tuesday, October 6, will last at least three weeks.
It comes despite the country’s National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) calling for the country to move to level 5 and enter a second national lockdown.
Mr Martin said: “Businesses are beginning to recover and vital public health services are still backlogged.
“Severe restrictions now would have a very damaging impact which those services and businesses may not be able to recover from them.
“We have decided, at this stage, not to move to a more comprehensive lockdown.”
Ireland will stay at level 3 until October 27, meaning social and family gatherings and organised indoor gatherings will be banned, except for funerals and weddings.
People are asked to stay within their county and work from home unless it is absolutely unavoidable, while schools and other education establishments should remain open.
Shops, outdoor playgrounds, play areas and parks may stay open, as can hairdressers, beauticians, barbers, opticians provided they follow the rules on protective measures.
Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs may remain open, but with services limited to residents.
Restaurants and cafes, including bars, pubs serving food or wet pubs (ones that don’t serve food) may remain open for takeaway and delivery and outdoor dining/service to an absolute maximum of 15 people.
Wet pubs in Dublin remain closed, along with all of Ireland’s indoor museums, galleries, cinemas and other cultural attractions.
One of the health officials who advised a lockdown said Ireland’s limited hospital capacity meant it could run out of intensive care beds by the start of November if the current rate of Covid-19 cases continued.
Ireland has recorded 1,810 deaths among 38,549 people who have caught Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the pandemic.
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