Are house parties allowed during COVID-19?

New measures announced by the Government limits the amount of people who can be in one household at a time
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illustration of people wearing face masks around a dining table following the covid19 gathering restrictions

The Government has introduced measures to limit how many people can gather in a household at once. These guidelines come after concerns that the coronavirus has been spreading in house parties that have taken place after some of the COVID-19 restrictions eased. 

Can I have a party in my house?

The current guidelines allow you to visit another person’s home, so having people over is currently within the rules. However, with these new guidelines, there is a limit to how many people can be in your home at once.

The current limit on gatherings in Ireland include:

  • No more than four households should meet in a home at any one time
  • Up to 100 people at weddings

In all of these cases, try your best to keep your social distance (at least two metres apart) from others and wash your hands regularly.

How many people can I have in my house?

Currently, no more than four households should gather for a social visit in someone’s home. Your own household will count as one if these. It’s a good idea to avoid getting too close to others at a social gathering, so try your best to keep your social distance (at least two metres apart).

It is possible to host different people on different days in order to avoid going over these limits. However, it is a good idea in general to try and limit the number of close contacts you have in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Here are some other ways you can stay safe as restrictions ease.

Why is having a house party a risk?

COVID-19 is a highly transmissible infectious disease, and the virus wants to spread. But it needs people to come into contact to do so. Coming together in groups, in enclosed spaces with a lack of ventilation, where there is close contact between people and long durations of time spent together creates an environment where it is easier for the virus to spread. Laughing, shouting or singing can release droplets that may contain the virus and infect other people nearby. These are all risk factors to be aware of. To reduce your risk, limit your time in other people’s homes. Keep your social contacts as low as possible. Stick to outdoor meet-ups if possible.

What is the difference between a social gathering and an indoor gathering?

The current guidelines say up to four households can meet at a ‘social gathering’ in someone’s home, but the numbers are different for ‘indoor gatherings’.

An indoor gathering refers to a bigger event, such as a wedding, funeral, or attending a religious service like mass, that takes place in a venue other than someone’s home. Social distancing should also be observed at these events.

The following attendance limits are currently in place for indoor gatherings:

  • A maximum of 100 people can attend a wedding
  • At an indoor event such as a concert, attendance is limited to 1000 people, or 50% of the venue’s capacity, whichever is lower. All indoor event venues must close by 8pm
  • For outdoor events, attendance is limited to 5000 people or 50% of the venue’s capacity, whichever is lower
  • There is no limit on the number of people you can have at funerals and religious services
  • In a restaurant, pub or cafe, there can be a maximum of six people per table, or 15 if five of these people are children under 12

On the other hand, a social gathering such as a house party is limited to people from no more than four households. These gatherings take place in someone’s home rather than an outside venue. Find out more about the current COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland.

Why are there limits on gatherings?

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, many people want to spend time with friends and family and do things they weren’t able to do during lockdown. However, just because the restrictions are lifting does not mean that the virus has gone away. This is why it’s necessary to continue to follow guidelines around social distancing, washing your hands, wearing face masks, and avoiding close contact with people outside your household.

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