Government announces five-level ‘Living with COVID-19’ plan

Stephanie Byrne-Roche

September 16 2020

The Government has announced its new plan to manage living with COVID-19 over the next six to nine months.

The ‘Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19’ sets out five Levels that the Government hopes will help the country “…move on from a short-term emergency response approach to a medium-term approach to managing risk and repairing the damage that COVID-19 has inflicted on society.”

Below, we take a look at the new plan, its five Levels, and how the announcement may affect your business.

What does the plan consist of?

The centrepiece of the plan is a ‘Framework for Restrictive Measures’ consisting of five Levels that will be applied to each county based on the incidence of COVID-19 in that county.

The framework aims to provide clarity on what restrictive measures are appropriate around the country based on the pattern and progress of COVID-19 in a particular area at a particular time.

The five Levels

The system is communicated through a numbered system of alert Levels (from 1 to 5) with:

  • Level 1 being the lowest and having the least amount of restrictive measures in place.
  • Level 5 being the highest and having the most restrictions in place.

Levels are applied to each county based on the prevailing COVID-19 situation in each county.

Level 1

Level 1 is the least severe. Businesses such as gyms, cultural attractions, bars, cafes, and restaurants can remain open once they adhere to protective measures. 

Retail and services, such as hairdressers, can remain open once done so in accordance with protective measures. Indoor and outdoor gatherings face capacity restrictions.

Working from home is recommended where possible, while face coverings should also be worn on public transport.

Level 2

Under Level 2, schools, gyms, restaurants, cafes, and bars can remain open. Sporting events and cultural attractions can also remain open once protective measures are in place.

Household gatherings are now limited to six people indoors and up to 15 outdoors.

Also, ‘wet pubs’ in Dublin will now remain closed come September 21st, but ‘wet pubs’ outside of Dublin can reopen.

Level 3

Level 3 will see restrictions tighten further. For instance, restaurants can stay open but only for takeaway and outdoor dining. Other businesses, such as bars and cultural attractions, will have to close.

No indoor gatherings, apart from one visitor from a separate household, will be allowed, while only 15 people can meet outdoors. Gyms and leisure centres can remain open for individual training. Schools and creches can also remain open in line with protective measures.

Working from home where possible should continue, while public transport will be at 50% capacity. 

Level 4

Level 4 will see the closure of all businesses except for essential businesses and services. The main priority of Level 4 is to keep schools and childcare services open, while keeping people safe.

Indoor and social gatherings won’t be allowed, while outdoor seating only, limited to 15 people, will apply for both restaurants and 'wet pubs'.

Level 5

Level 5 restrictions will be similar to those put in place at the beginning of the pandemic. People will be asked to stay at home except to exercise within five kilometres of their home. All businesses apart from those deemed essential will close, and no gatherings will be allowed.

Restaurant and ‘wet pub’ takeaways will be allowed.

Impact on your business

The Government advice to work from home where possible remains in place and likewise, the existing protective measures around face coverings and social distancing in retail and services continue to apply.

It will be up to you as a business owner to keep up to date with the alert Level in your county and carefully follow the guidelines outlined for that Level.

Need our help?

For further complimentary advice on the ‘Living with COVID-19’ plan from an expert, call us any time day or night on 0818 923 923 or request a callback here.

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