Following hours-long meetings, the Cabinet have agreed to move the Republic of Ireland to Level 5 restrictions from Wednesday midnight for six weeks. These restrictions are said to be reviewed after 4 weeks from An Taoiseach Michaél Martin.
After hours of negotiations between Ministers and health officials from NPHET, it has been announced that the country will go into Level 5 instead of the Level 4 many thought would be approved.
In his address, An Taoiseach Michaél Martin states that the Irish restrictions are some of the strictest in Europe, and there is evidence that it is working in slowing the virus but further action is needed.
Covid-19 cases in the Republic of Ireland hit another milestone, surmounting 50,000 cases since the beginning of the Pandemic this afternoon. The Department of the Health revealed a further 1,031 cases and no new deaths this evening. In the address, Martin states that “Covid-19 infections are on the rise,” across our country, Europe and the world.
Of the 1,031 cases, Dublin is still the highest at 235, followed by Cork with 232 cases, 60 in Galway, 47 in Limerick, 47 in Kerry. The remaining 410 cases are spread across 21 counties. 298 active cases in hospitals with 34 patients in ICU.
“As Taoiseach, I’m asking everyone again to take this threat seriously,” Level 5, the most severe tier in the Government’s ‘Living with Covid’ framework means that bars & restaurants will have to revert back into takeaway service only. Essential travel is also being brought back, as well as the 5km limit allocated for exercise purposes.
The construction and manufacturing industries are to remain open, as are schools and creches. The education of our children and students will not be another victim of this virus, Martin states.
Elite-level sports will be permitted during these restrictions.
Much speculation thought the Cabinet would approve for Level 4, but this is seen as a Level 5 with a few modifications such as weddings will still be allowed 25 people.
The Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be restored to €350 for those with €400 earning or above.
Martin finished his address on a determined and uplifting note “Even as the Winter comes in, there is hope. And there is light,”
If we all pull together and follow the spirit of these restrictions for a period of 6 weeks, we will suppress this virus, and we will emerge from these restrictions on the 1st of December. Our future is in our hands. We must each dig deep. We must persevere and we must be resilient. We are more resilient than we can imagine. The Irish people will persevere.”