Stricter Covid-19 restrictions have come into effect in Dublin in a bid to stem rising levels of the virus.
The new rules went into effect in the city and surrounding county at midnight Friday.
For the next three weeks, people will be discouraged from leaving the city and county, except for essential reasons.
They are asked to work from home whenever possible and only make essential trips by public transport.
In Dublin City, visitors to private homes and gardens should be limited to a maximum of six people from another household.
There should not be any organized indoor gatherings, and outdoor gatherings should be a maximum of 15.
Restaurants and pubs that served food will only be allowed to accommodate outdoors, up to a maximum of 14 people, or to offer take out service.
‘Will save lives’
Pubs across the rest of the Republic, whether or not they serve food, will be allowed to open Monday.
Only elite sports matches are allowed. Sports training can continue, but only outdoors and in groups of no more than 15, while gymnastics classes have been suspended.
Funerals are capped at 25 and the same cap will be introduced for weddings from Monday.
The new rules are based on recommendations from public health officials on the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
The city and county moved from level two to level three of the country’s five-level alert system. The government decides when to move from one level to the next based on advice from NPHET.
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin said without action there was a real threat Dublin could return to the worst days of the crisis.
“I know the restrictions are going to make a lot of people angry, but we have very clear advice that they will save lives,” said Martin.
Three more deaths and 253 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Friday – 116 of them were in Dublin.
This brings the total number of coronavirus deaths to 1,792 in the country.
Placing Dublin at level three has the following implications for those who live or work in Dublin:
- Visitors to private homes and gardens should be limited to a maximum of six people from another household.
- No social / family gatherings should take place except weddings and funerals (see below).
- No organized indoor gathering should take place. Outdoor gatherings are permitted, up to a maximum of 15 people.
- People living in Dublin should stay in the county (i.e. they should not leave Dublin to travel within the country or abroad), except those who have to travel for work, studies and other essential reasons.
- People living outside Dublin should not travel to Dublin, except for those who must travel for work, study and other essential purposes.
- People working in Dublin are welcome to work from home, except in cases of absolute necessity.
- Schools, early learning and child care services should remain open. Adult and higher education institutions should remain open, but are urged to review protective measures and take steps to limit the congregation as much as possible.
- People are urged to walk or cycle where possible so that public transport is available for essential workers and for essential travel only.