UPDATE: Level 5 restrictions extended until April 5th

Moira Grassick

February 24 2021

The Government has confirmed that Level 5 restrictions will be extended nationally until April 5th at minimum.

The Taoiseach’s announcement outlined a very cautious approach to reopening business and society. The six weeks up to Easter will focus on monitoring the impact of a phased reopening of schools and childcare services.

Impact on employers

Below are the key takeaways for employers:

  • Work from home to continue where possible.
  • Phased reopening of schools to begin on Monday, March 1st.
  • ECCE childcare scheme to resume on Monday, March 8th.  
  • The current 5km limit will remain in place.

Income and business supports, such as the Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS) and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), have also been extended until the end of June.

Revised COVID-19 management plan

The Government has also published a revised plan for managing the COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021: The Path Ahead’ outlines a cautious approach to reopening, beginning with childcare and schools. The plan then focuses on progressing the vaccination programme to lay the foundations for the full recovery of social life, public services, and the economy.

The next review of the plan will consider the following easing of restrictions after April 5th:

  • Some easing of restrictions on outdoor activities and meetings beyond one other household.
  • Possibility of extending the current 5km limit.
  • Staggered easing of other areas of restriction with a focus on outdoor activities, including construction and sport.

Opportunity for employers to plan for reopening

The phased reopening of schools and childcare services should ease some of the pressure on working parents. Businesses and employees alike should in turn benefit from a return to more predictable working patterns.

With the vaccine rollout also progressing, 2021 should look different to 2020 and employers should begin planning for a busy second half of the year.

The month of March could represent a good opportunity to communicate your organisation’s COVID-19 vaccine policy to staff and to address any concerns staff might have around taking the vaccine.

Managing the vaccine rollout in your business

Our new online tool VaccTrak will help you keep track of who’s had the COVID-19 vaccine in your business.

VaccTrak allows you to:

  • Update your employee profiles to easily record who’s had the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Download regular reports to see exactly who’s been vaccinated, so you can keep your people safe during the vaccine roll-out.
  • Download professional letter templates to encourage your staff to have the vaccine.
  • Access our exclusive vaccine awareness course. Share it with your staff to educate them on the vaccine and answer any complex questions.

Need our help?

If you have questions regarding the extended Level 5 restrictions, speak with one of our HR experts today on 1890 252 923.

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