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What are the current COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland?

Keep up to date with all the current COVID-19 regulations in Ireland


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in news


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Over the coming months, Ireland will need to learn to live alongside COVID-19. This means that we will all need to continue to change the things we do in our daily lives in order to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. This is to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.

The Government has created five different levels of response to COVID-19. As the number of cases rise and fall, the country will move from one level to another, telling us what kinds of restrictions we need to follow and what extra precautions we should take.

What level is my county currently at?

Find out which level your county is at and find out what restrictions are in place for you.

Local restrictions

In certain circumstances, the Government will place additional restrictions on certain areas, depending on the case levels in those areas. This could mean the county, city or local area is at a different level to the rest of the country, or that they are at the same level as everywhere else with just a few additional restrictions.

Dublin

Dublin is currently at Level 3 from 19th September 2020 until 10th October 2020

Level 1 restrictions

Level 1 is activated when there are fewer cases of COVID-19 in the area, with isolated outbreaks and low transmission.

Some areas may have additional restrictions on top of this.

Can I see my friends?

How many people you can meet up with depends on whether you are inside or outside.

  • A maximum of ten people can visit your home or garden, from up to three other households
  • Outside of your home, you can meet up to 50 people (unless specific guidance recommends a lower or higher number)

Are house parties allowed?

Due to the restrictions on gatherings inside the home, having a house party with a large number of people is not allowed. You can only have a maximum of ten people from up to three other households in your home right now.

Can I go to events?

For the most part, it is possible to go to events both indoors and outdoors, with some restrictions in place.

Can I go to the cinema?

Seeing a movie at the cinema is considered a controlled indoor event, which means you can go to the cinema right now. The same is true for events in theatres like plays or small music gigs. These events will have to follow the guidelines for organised indoor gatherings.

Organised indoor gatherings

If you’re attending an organised indoor event, here are the restrictions you can expect:

  • Up to 100 people are permitted at organised indoor gatherings
  • Up to 200 people can attend organised indoor events in larger venues where strict social distancing measures can be applied (including 2 metre distancing between seats and one-way systems)

Organised outdoor gatherings

An outdoor gathering that has been arranged by an event organiser, such as an arts or training event, these are the measures in place:

  • Up to 200 people can attend organised outdoor gatherings
  • Up to 500 people can attend if the outdoor venue normally has capacity for 5,000 people, so long as there are strict protective measures in place

What are the current restrictions on weddings?

Up to 100 people can currently attend a wedding ceremony and reception.

Can I attend religious services?

Up to 50 people can attend religious services, and there will need to be special measures in place, including social distancing and one-way systems.

Can I play sports?

The current measures allow people to train and both play in and attend matches.

Can I train?

Training can take place as normal both indoors and outdoors, with protective measures in place.

Can I go to a match?

If you’d like to attend a match or another sporting event, the following restrictions are in place:

  • Up to 100 people can watch a match inside
  • Up to 200 people can watch a match outside
  • Up to 500 people can watch a match outside in stadiums where there is normally capacity for 5,000 people

Can I go to the gym?

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can all remain open, so long as there are protective measures in place.

Visiting restaurants and pubs

It is currently possible to go to restaurants and to go to pubs, but there will need to be measures in place.

Are restaurants open?

Restaurants, cafés and coffee shops are all currently open, but they will have limited seating available due to social distancing measures.

Are pubs open?

Pubs are open with strict protective measures in place.

Are nightclubs open?

All nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.

Can I travel?

There are currently no limits on travelling within Ireland, and hotels and other forms of accommodation are open provided there are protective measures in place.

It is currently not advised to do any unnecessary travel outside of Ireland, even if the country you’re planning on travelling to is on the green list.

Can I take public transport?

Public transport is in operation but you will need to wear a face covering. The capacity is limited, and everyone is asked to avoid peak hours if possible.

It is encouraged to walk or cycle where possible.

What retail and services are open?

Shops, shopping centres, supermarkets, and services like hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons are all open. Cultural centres like museums and galleries are also open.

All of these businesses will need to have protective measures in place, and you will need to wear a face mask to attend.

Do I have to wear a face mask?

In Ireland, it is currently mandatory to wear a face mask in shops and when attending services like the hairdresser, barber, salons, cinema, libraries, theatres, bookies, and other retail services.

It is also mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport. Refusing to wear a face mask in any of these places could lead to a fine or imprisonment. Find out more about the rules around face masks in Ireland.

School, college and work

If you are in school, college or you are working, it's good to be aware of the current measures in place.

Are schools and colleges open?

Schools and colleges are open, but there will need to be protective measures in place.

Can I work from my office?

It is recommended to work from home if possible. If you would like to go into the office, you can do so for specific business requirements, and your attendance will need to be staggered to avoid too many people in the office at once.

Are childcare facilities open?

Childcare facilities like creches, childminding and pre-schools are open with protective measures in place. Outdoor playgrounds and play areas are also still open.

Level 2 restrictions

At Level 2, most services can stay open, but we will need to limit the amount of people we come into close contact with.

Some areas may have additional restrictions on top of this.

Can I see my friends?

How many people you can meet up with depends on whether you are inside or outside.

  • A maximum of six people can visit your home or garden, from up to three other households
  • Outside of your home, you can meet a maximum of six other people in indoor settings
  • Outside of your home or garden, you can meet up to 15 people from up to three other households

Are house parties allowed?

Due to the restrictions on gatherings inside the home, having a house party with a large number of people is not allowed. You can only have a maximum of six people from up to three other households in your home right now.

Can I go to events?

For the most part, it is possible to go to events both indoors and outdoors, with some restrictions in place.

Can I go to the cinema?

Seeing a movie at the cinema is considered a controlled indoor event, which means you can go to the cinema right now. The same is true for events in theatres like plays or small music gigs. These events will have to follow the guidelines for organised indoor gatherings.

Organised indoor gatherings

If you’re attending an organised indoor event, here are the restrictions you can expect:

  • Up to 50 people are permitted at organised indoor gatherings
  • People can attend in groups of up to 6 people, and there will need to be arrangements in place to avoid people from different groups mingling
  • Up to 100 people can attend organised indoor events in larger venues where strict social distancing measures can be applied (including 2 metre distancing between seats and one-way systems)

Organised outdoor gatherings

An outdoor gathering that has been arranged by an event organiser, such as an arts or training event, these are the measures in place:

  • Up to 100 people can attend organised outdoor gatherings
  • Up to 200 people can attend if the outdoor venue normally has capacity for 5,000 people, so long as there are strict protective measures in place

What are the current restrictions on weddings?

Up to 50 people can currently attend a wedding ceremony and reception.

What are the current restrictions on funerals?

Up to 50 mourners can currently attend a funeral.

Can I play sports?

The current measures allow people to train and both play in and attend matches.

Can I train?

Training can take place both indoors and outdoors.

  • Outdoor training can take place in pods of up to 15 people
  • Indoor training, exercise and dance classes can take place in pods of up to six people

There are exemptions to these measures for professional athletes, elite athletes, and inter-county sports or senior club championship teams.

Can I go to a match?

If you’d like to attend a match or another sporting event, the following restrictions are in place:

  • Up to 100 people can watch a match outside
  • Up to 50 people can watch a match inside
  • Up to 200 people can watch a match in stadiums where there is normally capacity for 5,000 people

Can I go to the gym?

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can all remain open, so long as there are protective measures in place.

Visiting restaurants and pubs

It is currently possible to go to restaurants and to go to pubs, but there will need to be measures in place.

Are restaurants open?

Restaurants, cafés and coffee shops are all currently open, but they will have limited seating available due to social distancing measures.

If you want to go to a restaurant, keep in mind that current restrictions mean you can attend in a group of up to six people from up to three different households. 

Are pubs open?

Pubs will be reopening in Ireland on 21 September, and they will need to have strict protective measures in place.

If you want to go to a pub, keep in mind that current restrictions mean you can attend in a group of up to six people from up to three different households.

Are nightclubs open?

All nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.

Can I travel?

There are currently no limits on travelling within Ireland, and hotels and other forms of accommodation are open provided there are protective measures in place.

It is currently not advised to do any unnecessary travel outside of Ireland, even if the country you’re planning on travelling to is on the green list.

Can I take public transport?

Public transport is in operation but you will need to wear a face covering. The capacity is limited to 50%, and everyone is asked to avoid peak hours to provide space for essential workers or those making essential journeys.

It is encouraged to walk or cycle where possible.

What retail and services are open?

Shops, shopping centres, supermarkets, and services like hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons are all open. Cultural centres like museums and galleries are also open.

All of these businesses will need to have protective measures in place, and you will need to wear a face mask to attend.

Do I have to wear a face mask?

In Ireland, it is currently mandatory to wear a face mask in shops and when attending services like the hairdresser, barber, salons, cinema, libraries, theatres, bookies, and other retail services.

It is also mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport. Refusing to wear a face mask in any of these places could lead to a fine or imprisonment. Find out more about the rules around face masks in Ireland.

School, college and work

If you are in school, college or you are working, it's good to be aware of the current measures in place.

Are schools and colleges open?

Schools and colleges are open, but there will need to be protective measures in place.

Can I work from my office?

It is recommended to work from home if possible. You should only go into the office for essential on-site meetings or inductions and training.

Are childcare facilities open?

Childcare facilities like creches, childminding and pre-schools are open with protective measures in place. Outdoor playgrounds and play areas are also still open.

Level 3 restrictions

In Level 3, more restrictions are introduced, but the priority is to keep schools and childcare facilities open, and reduce the impact on the workforce. Many services may move online at this level. You will also need to reduce your contacts and avoid travelling outside your county.

Some areas may have additional restrictions on top of this.

Can I see my friends?

How many people you can meet up with depends on whether you are inside or outside.

  • You can have visitors in your home or garden from one other household only
  • No social or family gatherings should take place outside of your home or garden.

Are house parties allowed?

Due to the restrictions on gatherings inside the home, having a house party with a large number of people is not allowed. You can currently only have visitors from one other household.

Can I go to events?

There are changes to indoor and outdoor events in Level 3.

Can I go to the cinema?

Seeing a movie at the cinema is considered a controlled indoor event, which is currently not permitted. This means you cannot go to the cinema during Level 3.

Organised indoor gatherings

Organised indoor gatherings such as business or training events, events in theatres or cinemas or other arts events (excluding sports) are not currently permitted.

Organised outdoor gatherings

Organised events taking place outside with an event organiser or manager, such as outdoor arts events or training events, can have up to 15 people attending.

What are the current restrictions on weddings?

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

What are the current restrictions on funerals?

Up to 25 mourners can currently attend a funeral.

Can I attend religious services?

Religious services must move online. Places of worship can remain open for private prayer.

Can I play sports?

There are some restrictions around training, and no matches can take place.

Can I train?

  • Outdoor training can only take place for non-contact sports in pods of up to 15
  • Indoors, individual training can take place only, which means no dance or exercise classes

There are exemptions to these measures for professional athletes, elite athletes, and inter-county sports or senior club championship teams.

Can I go to a match?

No matches or events can take place either indoors or outdoors.

The exception to this rule is in place professional athletes, elite athletes, and inter-county sports or club championship teams, and horse racing which can all take place behind closed doors.

Can I go to the gym?

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will be open for individual training only, so long as there are protective measures in place.

Visiting restaurants and pubs

It is currently possible to go to restaurants and to go to pubs, but there will need to be measures in place.

Are restaurants open?

Restaurants, cafés and coffee shops are all currently open. 

Normally, these businesses would have additional restrictions for indoor dining during Level 3. However, restaurants in Dublin will only be allowed to open if they have outdoor seating or if they have take away services - no indoor seating will be allowed.

Are pubs open?

Normally, pubs would be open with strict additional restrictions in place during Level 3. However, 'wet pubs' (pubs that do not serve food) in Dublin will not be opening on September 21st with the rest of the country, and will remain closed until further notice.

Pubs that serve food can open in Dublin if they have outdoor seating or if they can offer a take away service - no indoor seating will be allowed.

Are nightclubs open?

All nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.

Can I travel?

There are some limits on travel within Ireland at this time.

Are hotels open?

Hotels are open, but services are limited to residents.

Can I travel within Ireland?

You will need to stay within your county, apart from going to work or for education or other essential purposes. This means if you had a holiday within Ireland booked, it is no longer possible to take it.

Overseas travel

It is currently not advised to do any unnecessary travel outside of Ireland, even if the country you’re planning on travelling to is on the green list.

Can I take public transport?

Public transport is in operation but you will need to wear a face covering. The capacity is limited to 50%, and everyone is asked to avoid peak hours to provide space for essential workers or those making essential journeys.

It is encouraged to walk or cycle where possible.

What retail and services are open?

Shops, shopping centres, supermarkets, and services like hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons are all open.

All of these businesses will need to have protective measures in place, and you will need to wear a face mask to attend.

Do I have to wear a face mask?

In Ireland, it is currently mandatory to wear a face mask in shops and when attending services like the hairdresser, barber, salons, cinema, libraries, theatres, bookies, and other retail services.

It is also mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport. Refusing to wear a face mask in any of these places could lead to a fine or imprisonment. Find out more about the rules around face masks in Ireland.

Museums, galleries and libraries

Museums, galleries and other cultural institutions will close during Level 3.

Libraries will be open for any online services and for call and collect.

School, college and work

If you are in school, college or you are working, it's good to be aware of the current measures in place.

Are schools and colleges open?

Schools are open, but there will need to be protective measures in place.

Colleges are asked to step up their protective measures and limit the number of people on campus further, which could mean more online classes than before.

Can I work from my office?

Work from home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go into the office.

Are childcare facilities open?

Childcare facilities like creches, childminding and pre-schools are open with protective measures in place. Outdoor playgrounds and play areas are also still open.

Level 4 restrictions

At Level 4, the Government is prioritising keeping schools and childcare facilities open. Only essential businesses will stay open and no visitors to homes or other social gatherings will be allowed.

Some areas may have additional restrictions on top of this.

Can I see my friends?

It is not possible to have visitors outside of your own household during Level 4.

No gatherings outside of your own home should take place during this time.

Are house parties allowed?

Due to the restrictions on gatherings inside the home, having a house party with a large number of people is not allowed. It is not possible to have visitors from outside your home at this time.

Can I go to events?

For the most part, it is possible to go to events both indoors and outdoors, with some restrictions in place.

Can I go to the cinema?

Seeing a movie at the cinema is considered a controlled indoor event, which is currently not permitted. This means you cannot go to the cinema during Level 4.

Organised indoor gatherings

Organised indoor gatherings such as business or training events, events in theatres or cinemas or other arts events (excluding sports) are not currently permitted.

Organised outdoor gatherings

Organised events taking place outside with an event organiser or manager, such as outdoor arts events or training events, can have up to 15 people attending.

What are the current restrictions on weddings?

Up to six people can currently attend a wedding ceremony and reception.

What are the current restrictions on funerals?

Up to 25 mourners can currently attend a funeral.

Can I attend religious services?

Religious services must move online. Places of worship can remain open for private prayer.

Can I play sports?

The current measures allow people to train and both play in and attend matches.

Can I train?

  • Outdoor training can only take place for non-contact sports in pods of up to 15
  • Indoors, individual training can take place only, which means no dance or exercise classes

Can I go to a match?

No matches or events can take place either indoors or outdoors.

The exception to this rule is in place professional athletes, elite athletes, and inter-county sports or club championship teams, and horse racing which can all take place behind closed doors.

Can I go to the gym?

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will be closed.

Visiting restaurants and pubs

Restrictions for restaurants and pubs are now in place.

Are restaurants open?

Restaurants, cafés and coffee shops can open for take-away service. No indoor dining is allowed.

Outdoor dining is allowed for up to 15 people.

Are pubs open?

No indoor seating is allowed in pubs. Outdoor seating is limited to a max of 15 people.

Are nightclubs open?

All nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.

Can I travel?

There are limits on travel within Ireland at this time.

Are hotels open?

Hotels are open, but only for existing guests and for those with essential, non-social and non-tourist reasons for travel.

Can I travel within Ireland?

You will need to stay within your county, apart from going to work or for education or other essential purposes. This means if you had a holiday within Ireland booked, it is no longer possible to take it.

Overseas travel

It is currently not advised to do any unnecessary travel outside of Ireland, even if the country you’re planning on travelling to is on the green list.

Can I take public transport?

Public transport is in operation but you will need to wear a face covering if you are taking it. The capacity is limited to 25%.

Everyone should avoid public transport - essential workers and those taking essential journeys should only take public transport.

It is encouraged to walk or cycle where possible.

What retail and services are open?

Only essential services are open at this time, such as local shops, supermarkets, and pharmacies.

All of these businesses will need to have protective measures in place, and you will need to wear a face mask to attend.

Can I go to the hairdresser or barber?

Hairdressers and barber shops are closed during Level 4.

Do I have to wear a face mask?

In Ireland, it is currently mandatory to wear a face mask in shops (and when attending services like the hairdresser, barber, salons, cinema, libraries, theatres, bookies, and other retail services, when these services are open).

It is also mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport. Refusing to wear a face mask in any of these places could lead to a fine or imprisonment. Find out more about the rules around face masks in Ireland.

Museums, galleries and libraries

All venues will be closed, including libraries, but online services are available.

School, college and work

If you are in school, college or you are working, it's good to be aware of the current measures in place.

Are schools and colleges open?

Schools are open, but there will need to be protective measures in place.

Colleges are asked to step up their protective measures and limit the number of people on campus further, with only those who need to be on campus for essential reasons allowed.

Can I work from my office?

Only essential workers should go into work, everyone else should work from home.

Are childcare facilities open?

Childcare facilities like creches, childminding and pre-schools are open with protective measures in place. Outdoor playgrounds and play areas are also still open.

Level 5 restrictions

Level 5 is the most restrictive level for COVID-19 measures. Level 5 means that the public health risk is high. You will need to stay at home and you will not be allowed to go outside except for exercise within 5km of your home. The only small gatherings allowed will be at funerals and weddings.

Can I see my friends?

It is not possible to have visitors outside of your own household during Level 5.

No gatherings outside of your own home should take place during this time.

Are house parties allowed?

Due to the restrictions on gatherings inside the home, having a house party is not allowed. It is not possible to have visitors from outside your home at this time.

Can I go to events?

For the most part, it is possible to go to events both indoors and outdoors, with some restrictions in place.

Can I go to the cinema?

Seeing a movie at the cinema is considered a controlled indoor event, which is currently not permitted. This means you cannot go to the cinema during Level 5.

Organised indoor gatherings

Organised indoor gatherings such as business or training events, events in theatres or cinemas or other arts events (excluding sports) are not currently permitted.

Organised outdoor gatherings

Organised events taking place outside with an event organiser or manager, are not allowed at this time.

What are the current restrictions on weddings?

Up to six people can currently attend a wedding ceremony and reception.

What are the current restrictions on funerals?

Up to 10 mourners can currently attend a funeral.

Can I attend religious services?

Religious services must move online. Places of worship can remain open for private prayer.

Can I play sports?

The current measures allow people to train and both play in and attend matches.

Can I train?

Only individual training is allowed, which means no exercise classes or dance classes can take place.

Can I go to a match?

No matches or events can take place either indoors or outdoors.

Can I go to the gym?

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will be closed.

Visiting restaurants and pubs

Restrictions for restaurants and pubs are now in place.

Are restaurants open?

Restaurants, cafés and coffee shops can open for take-away or delivery service only. No indoor or outdoor dining is allowed.

Are pubs open?

Pubs can open for take-away or delivery service only.

Are nightclubs open?

All nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.

Can I travel?

There are limits on travel within Ireland at this time.

Are hotels open?

Hotels are open, but only for those with essential, non-social and non-tourist reasons for travel.

Can I travel within Ireland?

You will need to stay at home. Exercise within 5km of your home is allowed. You cannot travel within Ireland during this time.

Overseas travel

It is currently not advised to do any unnecessary travel outside of Ireland, even if the country you’re planning on travelling to is on the green list.

Can I take public transport?

Public transport is in operation but you will need to wear a face covering if you are taking it. The capacity is limited to 25%.

Everyone should avoid public transport - essential workers and those taking essential journeys should only take public transport.

It is encouraged to walk or cycle where possible.

What retail and services are open?

Only essential services are open at this time, such as local shops, supermarkets, and pharmacies.

All of these businesses will need to have protective measures in place, and you will need to wear a face mask to attend.

Can I go to the hairdresser or barber?

Hairdressers and barber shops are closed during Level 5.

Do I have to wear a face mask?

In Ireland, it is currently mandatory to wear a face mask in shops (and when attending services like the hairdresser, barber, salons, cinema, libraries, theatres, bookies, and other retail services, when these services are open).

It is also mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport. Refusing to wear a face mask in any of these places could lead to a fine or imprisonment. Find out more about the rules around face masks in Ireland.

Museums, galleries and libraries

All venues will be closed, including libraries, but online services are available.

School, college and work

If you are in school, college or you are working, it's good to be aware of the current measures in place.

Are schools and colleges open?

Schools are open, but there will need to be protective measures in place.

Colleges are asked to step up their protective measures and limit the number of people on campus further, with only those who need to be on campus for essential reasons allowed.

Can I work from my office?

Only essential workers should go into work, everyone else should work from home.

Are childcare facilities open?

Childcare facilities like creches, childminding and pre-schools are open with protective measures in place. Outdoor playgrounds and play areas are also still open.

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Published August 6th2020
Last updated Sep­tem­ber 18th2020
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
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