Dublin to move to level 3 lockdown, Taoiseach confirms

Dublin to move to level 3 lockdown, Taoiseach confirms

Gardaí on patrol on Grafton Street. File picture: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Dublin will move to a level 3 lockdown from tonight after the Cabinet approved a National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) recommendation “without deviation”.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Cabinet received “very clear advice” when he confirmed that Dublin would move to level 3.

Earlier, the Irish Examiner confirmed that ministers at a meeting of the Cabinet on Friday afternoon agreed to increase the level of restrictions in the capital.

Sources have said that the mood at the meeting was “sombre” and one of concern and while there were questions about the practical implications of the move, any dissent was “muted”.

The decision followed a cabinet sub-committee meeting on Covid-19 to consider Nphet's advice.

This means that indoor dining in bars and restaurants is set to be prohibited in Dublin due to rising case numbers.

Dublin restaurateurs have heavily criticised the expected decision and say thousands of jobs will be at risk and numerous businesses will struggle.

Adrian Cummins of the Restaurant Association of Ireland has described the government's decision as "devastating".

He said the decision will cause chaos and economic collapse for thousands of small hospitality businesses, plus 50,000 job layoffs. 

In a tweet, he said: "Cabinet have signed off on closing all indoor dining in Dublin Restaurants & Pubs serving food from mid - night tonight for 3 weeks. This will cause chaos & economic collapse for thousands of small hospitality businesses, plus 50,000 job lay offs... Devastating news !!"

The Labour Party has called on the full €350 pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) to be restored in the event of a new local lockdown.

The payment, which was introduced at the beginning of the pandemic, is still being claimed by over 200,000 workers laid off due to Covid-19.

It was yesterday cut to €300 a week for those who earned more than €300 per week before the pandemic and to €250 per week for those who previously earned between €200 and €300 per week.

Under level 3 restrictions, the government has said that its priority is to keep schools and childcare facilities open and minimise disruption in the work force. 

This means that a number of services will be moved online, some businesses will be closed (for example: pubs, museums and other indoor cultural venues). Restaurants will remain open for take away and outdoor dining only.

The Irish Examiner has confirmed, that on foot of the restrictions, Dubliners will not be able to leave the county for either domestic or overseas travel for the next three weeks.

As a result, those living in the capital will not be allowed fly out of Dublin Airport to Green list countries, except for essential reasons.

According to Cabinet sources, the travel restrictions will apply for all travel, domestic and foreign.

Weddings in Dublin will still be allowed 50 guests until Monday under plans being discussed by the Cabinet.

All other restrictions in the capital including a ban on indoor dining in pubs and restaurants will apply from midnight, according to a memo being discussed by ministers.

It has also been confirmed that the number of guests allowed at weddings will be reduced to 25 from Monday in order to allow weddings booked for this weekend for up to 50 people to go ahead.

In response to a request from Government and Nphet, Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) will introduce an enhanced set of measures as students commence their studies from Monday. 

"With immediate effect, and consistent with the introduction of increased Covid-19 restrictions, all activities not requiring attendance on-campus at TU Dublin will move to remote delivery where possible, Classesof a more practical nature such as laboratories, kitchens or workshops can continue on-campus as planned," TU Dublin said in a statement.

"TU Dublin has worked with staff, students, students union and social partners, to put in place appropriate safety measures to ensure that our traditional laboratory, workshops and studio activities can be conducted in as close to a normal manner as possible and in doing so contributing to a positive student experience. In preparation for the delivery of face-to-face programme activity, every campus location has been assessed, and appropriate signage and cleaning regimes established," the statement said.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre confirmed that a further three people with Covid-19 have died, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,792.

As of midnight Thursday 17 September, the HPSC has been notified of 253 confirmed cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 32,271.

What Level 3 means

Social and family gatherings 

In your home or garden Visitors from one other household only OR your own household only.

This will be determined by the prevailing public health advice for the county or other defined geographical area.

Other settings outside your home or garden 

No social or family gatherings should take place in other settings.

Weddings 

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

Organised indoor gatherings 

These are controlled environments with a named event organiser, owner or manager.

For example: business, training events, conferences, events in theatres and cinemas or other arts events (excluding sport).

No organised indoor gatherings should take place.

Organised outdoor gatherings 

These are controlled environments with a named event organiser, owner or manager. For example: outdoor Arts events, training events.

Gatherings of up to 15 people can take place.

Sports Training Outdoors

Non contact training only in pods of up to 15 (exemption for professional/elite/inter-county sports/senior club championship).

Indoors 

Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes.

Matches and events No matches or events to take place.

Exemption: professional/elite/inter-county/club championship/horse-racing can take place behind closed doors.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools 

Gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools open with protective measures, for individual training only.

These can open with protective measures, for individual training only.

Religious services 

Services move online. Places of worship remain open for private prayer.

Funerals 

Up to 25 mourners can attend.

Museums, galleries and other cultural attractions 

All venues closed.

Libraries will be available for e-services and call and collect.

Bars, cafes and restaurants (including hotel restaurants and bars) 

Additional restrictions for indoor dining.

Wet pubs 

Additional restrictions.

Nightclubs, discos and casinos 

Nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.

Hotels and accommodation 

Open but services limited to residents.

Retail and services (for example: hairdressers, beauticians, barbers) 

Face coverings must be worn.

Open with protective measures in place.

There is specific guidance available for:

Work 

Work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person.

Domestic travel 

Stay in your county (or other defined geographical area) apart from work, education and other essential purposes, if appropriate.

Schools, early learning and childcare services, adult and higher education 

Schools and creches are open with protective measures.

Further, higher and adult education to escalate all appropriate protective measures and limit congregation as far as possible.

Outdoor playgrounds, play areas and parks 

All remain open.

Transport 

Face coverings must be worn.

Walk or cycle where possible.

Public transport capacity will be limited to 50%.

Essential workers and essential purposes only.

Those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable 

Those aged 70 years and over and the medically vulnerable should exercise judgement regarding the extent to which they engage with others and in activities outside home.

Specific guidance will be provided.

Long-term residential care facilities (nursing and care homes) 

Suspended, aside from critical and compassionate circumstances.

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